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Company News in English

KSB buys into drive manufacturer

Vicenza, Italy: On 23 July, Frankenthal-based KSB Aktiengesellschaft acquires a majority interest in ITACO/REEL s.r.l..

The Italian company can look back on 25 years of successfully supplying customised automation and drive solutions for the international market. KSB has been cooperating with ITACO/REEL as its supplier of components and partner in the development of integrated pump drives for more than five years. Based on new technological approaches for motor and drive control solutions, the companies jointly developed a pump drive which even surpasses the most stringent requirements of EU Directive 2005/32/EC for high-efficiency motors.

The electric motors of pumps, as well as of compressors, account for the major portion of energy consumed in industry. This has led to continuously growing demand for energy-saving fluid transport systems.

The development of such systems is of strategic importance for the future success in the pump market. With its interest in the Italian drive specialist, KSB secures access to key technologies of the future.

River turbines on line

Near the German town of St. Goar on the river Rhine, KSB Aktiengesellschaft, Frankenthal, has put two river turbines into operation. These convert the energy of the river water into electric power and feed that into the power supply system. To do this, there is no need for any water to be impounded or diverted.

Following the successful operation of the two prototype turbines anchored to the river bed downstream from St. Goar, KSB now wants to prepare the newly developed power generators for commercial use. “We believe in a type of power supply that aims at economic effectiveness, reliability of supply and ecological compatibility all at once,” said Prof. Dr. Dieter-Heinz Hellmann, member of the KSB AG Board of Management. And he added that with the development of the river turbine, his company now was in a position to offer a new means of generating power within the scope of “small hydropower” that is not only clean but also capable of providing base load.

The project is being supported by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Consumer Protection of the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate. Minister Margit Conrad travelled to Frankenthal specially to attend the commissioning ceremony where she was asked to give the starting signal for the feed-in of electricity controlled from the company headquarters. Conrad acknowledged the pilot installation set up for the purpose of testing two river turbines designed to generate power without affecting climatic conditions or the environment. She said the two turbines were the latest of KSB AG’s efforts to supply the market with innovative products. “The river turbine pilot installation is a good example of how, through the use of cutting-edge technology, a body of naturally running water can be utilised in a highly efficient manner, yet without harming the fish population or getting in the way of passing ships.”

In Germany, hydropower is the second most important regenerative energy, only to be surpassed by wind power. KSB believes that the hydropower share offers potential for further growth. In Germany alone, one could potentially generate hydropower in the range of 6.8 TWh per year – without cross-structures, i.e. without major changes to the natural landscape. The German Federal Government supports power stations of this type with a total output of less than 500 kW by paying a feed-in compensation in the amount of 12.67 eurocents per kWh. However, KSB also believes there is a market for “small hydropower” internationally, for example in China, India or Russia, where the problem of supplying rural areas with electricity calls for creative solutions.

AkzoNobel endorses UN’s CEO Water Mandate

July 14, 2010
AkzoNobel’s commitment to the sustainable use of natural resources has been reinforced by the company’s endorsement of the CEO Water Mandate.

Launched by the United Nations Global Compact in July 2007, the CEO Water Mandate is a unique public-private initiative designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainable fresh water policies and practices.

By signing the mandate, AkzoNobel has reinforced its drive to embed conservation of scarce resources and operational efficiency into the company’s strategy, culture and daily operations.

“Fresh water is one of the world’s most vital resources and its sustainable use will become an increasingly important part of our license to operate as we look to continue growing our business,” said AkzoNobel CEO Hans Wijers. “By endorsing the CEO Water Mandate, we recognize that management of this increasingly scarce resource is a priority. We will therefore work together with private and public sector partners to take a leading role in fresh water conservation in those areas where we operate.”
Six key areas are covered by the mandate’s strategic framework: direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community engagement and transparency.

Endorsement of the mandate involves the annual submission of a Communication on Progress (COP) describing the company’s efforts to support the framework.

AkzoNobel has been one of the leaders on the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last five years, reflecting the fact that sustainable operations is one of the cornerstones of the company’s global strategy.