Canada, Municipal, Health, Water Treatment, Middle East, Safety
Seprotech to acquire Canadian consulting group
Canadian membrane water treatment and reuse provider Seprotech Systems Incorporated has reached agreement to acquire 100% of WESA Group Inc, a professional services company with eight North American offices and one in El Salvador.
H2O Innovation lands three water/wastewater contracts
H2O Innovation Inc announced on 14 January 2014 recent contracts totalling Can$ 6.5 million (UA$ 5.93 million) in Western Canada's energy sector.
The Long Read: Do we have the technology for potable water reuse?
Water reuse for drinking purposes is racing up the agenda in the US and elsewhere. Work to draw up new rules for potable reuse is advancing in states including California and Arizona, as well as in Canada and the European Union. Technologies are being piloted, and plants permitted.
Nanoparticles for water and desalination - how safe are they?
The potential dangers from the use of engineered nanoparticles, such as nanotubes, metal oxides or nanodots, some of which form the basis of new solutions for desalination and water treatment, are outlined in a new European Union publication.
The Long Read: The changing EPC landscape
There is a big shift going on in the water sector, and it's exemplified by the Suez-GE deal. While the focus of services offered by engineers has always ebbed and flowed along a spectrum of consultancy, design work, systems integration, and delivery, nowadays customers' decision-making processes are pushing at the boundaries of these traditional project service offerings.
IWA extends deadline for Toronto membrane papers
The International Water Association (IWA) has extended the deadline for submission of papers for the 7th IWA Specialised Membrane Technology Conference & Exhibition for Water & Wastewater Treatment & Reuse.
New US/Canadian contracts for H2O Innovation
Canadian H2O Innovation Inc announced on 21 December 2011 that it had recently been awarded new membrane water-treatment contracts totalling Can$ 4.7 million (US$ 4.6 million).
Oil sands UF water treatment won by H2O Innovation
A Can$ 9.4 million (US$ 9.6 million) contract for a membrane-based water treatment package has been awarded to H2O Innovation Inc by Fort Hills Energy LP for the Fort Hills Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada.
H2O Innovation supplies US city with UF, NF and RO
The City of Delaware in Ohio, USA, has awarded a contract to Canada's H2O Innovation Inc for a drinking-water production system involving ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO).
Desalination help published with WHO drinking water standards
The World Health Organization launched the 4th edition of its Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality (ISBN: 978 92 4 154815 1) at the Singapore Water Week on 4 July 2011 - and also launched a separate guide for desalination.
New contracts end H2O Innovation's year strongly
Canada's H2O Innovation Inc is to supply membrane nanofiltration (NF) water supply systems to two municipalities in Canada and expand an existing system in a third, among contracts totaling Can$ 8 million (US$ 8.25 million) announced on 6 July 2011.
H2O Innovation opens Toronto area office
Membrane treatment supplier H2O Innovation Inc announced on 23 January 2013 that it had recently opened a new office in Burlington, Ontario, part of the Greater Toronto Area in Canada.
PPCP Toolkit developed by WateReuse foundation
The WateReuse Research Foundation (WRF) has developed a toolkit for briefing elected officials, policy makers, or the general public about the presence of trace concentrations of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) found in recycled water.
Speakers announced for IDA conference in Banff
Speakers and sessions for the May conference on Water Recycling and Desalination for the Oil & Gas Industry have been announced by the organizers, the International Desalination Association (IDA).
Can$ 4.7 million new orders for H2O Innovation
A 1.1 MGD (4,200 m³/d) ultrafiltration (UF) drinking water system for a community in British Columbia, Canada, is one of new contracts worth Can$ 4.7 million (US$ 4.6 million) announced on 6 June 2013 by H2O Innovation Inc.
Canadian municipalities buy nanofiltration systems
Nanofiltration drinking water production systems are to be supplied to two Canadian municipalities, Waterville and Eastman in Quebec, by H2O Innovation.
US$ 8 million contracts boost for H2O Innovation
Quebec-based H2O Innovation Inc announced new contracts for desalination and water treatment systems totaling Can$ 7.8 million (US$ 8 million) on 24 March 2011.
Christ boards recommend takeover acceptance
The management and supervisory boards of Austria's Christ Water Technology AG recommended on 23 October 2009 that shareholders accept the offer of takeover from GLV Inc of Quebec, Canada, following an extensive evaluation of the offer document and all individual arguments.
Reilly appointed H20 Innovation's sales manager in BC
Kevin Reilly, formerly sewage control manager for Capital Regional District, Victoria, Canada, has been appointed regional sales manager - British Columbia (BC), by H20 Innovation, the desalination and water treatment system supplier.
Christ desalination contracts still hitting Ovivo figures
Desalination contracts had a significant unfavourable effect on consolidated results for Canada's GLV Inc in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and the last quarter of fiscal 2011.
H2O Innovation commissions pathfinding Indian membrane plant
Canada's H2O Innovation announced on 31 January 2011 that its Indian joint venture, H2O Innovation India Ltd, had commissioned the 7,000 m³/d membrane water treatment system it had designed for Larsen & Toubro Heavy Engineering (L&T) in Gujarat state.
Five newcomers voted onto IDA board
Five new faces are among the 21 members voted to serve on the board of the International Desalination Association (IDA) for 2011-13 as a result of the elections which closed on 13 August 2011.
Oil/gas sector MBR leads new H2O Innovation jobs
Supply of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater treatment and reuse system to an industrial user in the oil and gas industry in Alberta, Canada, was announced by H2 O Innovation Inc on 8 March 2012.
H2O Innovation to buy Piedmont Pacific
Canada's H2O Innovation Inc announced on 25 November 2013 the signing of an agreement to purchase all of the issued and outstanding common stock shares of Piedmont Pacific Corporation, the Oakland-based flexible pipe couplings manufacturer, for a total consideration of approximately Can$ 4.0 million (US$ 3.8 million).
H2O Innovation picks up contract trio to boost order book
Canada-based H2O Innovation has won two new contracts in Canada and one new deal in the US.
"We become part of our customers' business." Anurag Bajpayee
Gradiant's philosophy on technology is to take fundamental concepts and develop them into water technologies that speak directly to customers' experiences in the field.
UN urges desalination industry to improve on brine
The United Nations has called on the desalination industry to clean up its act on brine as the number of desalination plants worldwide continues to climb.
US farmers look to water reuse, as reservoir level drops
Water reuse in agriculture is gaining ground in the USA as farmers and water technologists seek to overcome the domestic water supply shortages caused by drought. The latest figures from the US Bureau of Reclamation show that water levels at Lake Mead, Nevada, the largest reservoir by capacity in the USA, hit a record low of 1,074 feet in March.
High-visibility reuse demo awarded to APTwater
California-based APTwater, Inc has been awarded a contract to use its technology for a municipal water-reuse system for the City of Anaheim, California.
Canadian low-energy desalination gets government boost
Saltworks Techologies Inc's low-energy desalination project is to receive up to Can$ 580,000 (US$ 577,000) from the Canadian government via Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
IDE sells two MVC evaporators to Alberta oil-sands site
IDE Technologies Ltd announced on 10 March 2014 that it had sold two IDE horizontal mechanical vapor compression (MVC) evaporators to increase the produced water treatment capacity of a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) production site in Northern Alberta.
H20 wins UF and RO contracts in Canada and US
A contract to augment the capacity of the existing reverse osmosis system of the City of Las Animas, Colorado, is one of a number of recent contracts won by H2O Innovation Inc totalling Can$ 2.7 million (US$ 2.4 million).
Largest order for H20 Innovation
Six membrane water filtration units with a combined treatment capacity of 3,960 m³/d have been ordered from Canadian treatment supplier H2O Innovation (2000) Inc by Petro-Canada Oil Sands Inc on behalf of Fort Hills Energy LP.
Water reuse: a growing market of opportunity and challenge
Survey findings suggest a market with the technical expertise, innovative ideas, and will to service customers' water needs, while a lack of money, reluctance to take chances on new technology, and instances of poor governance present challenges.
New members on H2O Innovation board
Shareholders of membrane-system provider H2O Innovation Inc elected two new directors to the board at the company's annual general meeting at its headquarters in Quebec City, Canada, on 12 November 2013.
Massive health grant aids Chino desalters expansion
California's Western Municipal Water District announced on 28 June 2012 that it had received a "monumental" US$ 51 million grant from the state's Department of Health towards the US$ 130 million expansion of the Chino desalination plants.
H2O Innovation wins Canadian and US contracts
A 5,000 m³/d nanofiltration water treatment plant is to be provided for the city of Saint-Tite, Quebec, Canada, by H2O Innovation Inc.
Canada's largest MBR plant will have GE membranes
A 36,000 m³/d expanded membrane bioreactor will be at the heart of an upgraded wastewater treatment plant for the city of Brandon in Manitoba, Canada.
Canadians win RO contract in Peru
Canada's BluMetric Environmental Inc has been awarded a US$ 1.38 million contract to supply a reverse osmosis (RO) system to deliver high-quality process water at a new facility for a large diversified industrial chemicals producer in Peru.
Woongjin opens all-Americas headquarters and factory
A new American headquarters and membrane manufacturing facility was opened on 5 April 2011 in Anaheim, California, by Woongjin Chemical America Inc, manufacturer of CSM reverse-osmosis and nanofiltration membranes for desalination and water treatment.
IDE/Clean Harbours tie-up aims at oil sands clean-up
Desalination designer and constructor IDE Technologies Ltd and US waste and wastewater specialist Clean Harbors today announced a joint research and development (R&D) program to increase the availability and reliability of mechanical vapor compression (MVC) evaporators for treating oil sands produced water in Alberta, Canada.
HTI deal takes forward osmosis to China
The world's only commercial manufacturer of forward-osmosis (FO) membranes, modules and systems, Hydration Technologies Innovations LLC (HTI), reached an international distribution, services and cooperation agreement for FO technology with Chinese company Tri-Tech Holding Inc.
Interview: Kati Bell, Stantec global reuse leader
Canadian engineering giant Stantec acquired water business MWH Global for $795 million, back in 2016. Now that the dust has settled on the deal, how well is the integration of the two organisations proceeding, and as the global water reuse practice hits its stride, how could its work help to shape the water markets of the future?
PWT acquired by H2O Innovation
Canadian water-treatment systems manufacturer H2O Innovation Inc announced on 28 May 2009 the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Professional Water Technologies (PWT) in an arms' length transaction involving H2O subsidiary Membrane Systems Inc.
Suez and Middle East plants top 2018 Global Water Awards
Suez has scooped the Desalination Company of the Year Award, and Middle East facilities topped the desal plant categories at this year's Global Water Awards from Global Water Intelligence (GWI).
Sonitec-Vortisand appoints MENA manager
Canada-based Sonitec-Vortisand has appointed Nikhil Bhatia, as regional manager for its newly formed subsidiary, Sonitec-Vortisand Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
November deadline for Singapore convention abstracts
A deadline of 15 November 2011 has been set for the receipt of abstracts for the Water Convention at the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) in July 2012.
Sulzer to acquire JWC Environmental
Sulzer is to acquire JWC Environmental, a leading supplier of municipal and industrial wastewater equipment.
Qatar MED/TC desalination plant goes to Tri-Tech
A 5,760 m³/d multiple-effect distillation thermocompression desalination plant is to be provided for a petrochemical plant in Qatar by Tri-Tech Holding Inc.
Dow gets NF start in Saudi Arabia at Ha'il
The Dow Chemical Company has been chosen to supply water nanofiltration technology to the Ha'il nanofiltration (NF) plant by the Ministry of Water & Electricity in Saudi Arabia.
New distributors and EU compliance for PWT
Membrane chemicals supplier Professional Water Technologies (PWT), the US arm of Canada's H2O Innovation, recently signed agreements with two new distributors in Brazil and Argentina, increasing its presence in South America.
GE evaporators chosen for Alberta bitumen project
MEG Energy Corp has selected GE evaporation technology for reusing steam generator water for boiler feed in a bitumen extraction project in Alberta, Canada.
New contracts announced by H2O Innovation
A 150,000 GPD (568 m³/d) membrane wastewater treatment system for a First Nation community in Manitoba, Canada, is one of new contracts totaling US$ 2.4 million announced on 12 January 2011 by H2O Innovation.
Canada/Norway study of pretreatment for osmotic power
Pretreatment of fresh water for an osmotic power plant is to be studied by Canada's Hydro-Quebec as part of a three-year agreement with Norway's Statkraft to speed up the development of osmotic power.
Another oil-sands evaporation contract for GE in Alberta
GE has won its fifth contract in the Alberta oil sands of Canada for use of its evaporation technologies for recycling the blowdown from once-through steam generators (OSTGs).
Neptune Benson buys Sonitec Vortisand
Engineering firm Neptune Benson, has bought Canada-based water filtration company, Sonitec Vortisand, for an undisclosed sum.
Pilot vapour-recompression plant tackles oil and gas water
A pilot project to treat produced water from oil and gas operations in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, has been initiated by Purestream Technology of Salt Lake City, USA, using its advanced vapour recompression (AVARA) system.
H2O Innovation updates Piedmont Pacific acquisition
Its recent acquisition of Piedmont Pacific means that Canada's H2O Innovation Inc is now supplying flexible pipe couplings to some of the largest desalination plants under construction in the world.
Veolia installing evaporator in Alberta oil sands
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies is currently installing an evaporator/crystallizer system at Southern Pacific Resource Corp's STP-McKay project currently under way in northern Alberta, Canada.
New hybrid membranes chosen for Victor Valley MBRs
The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA), on the edge of the Mojave desert in California, has selected FibrePlate hybrid-membrane technology manufactured by Fibracast Inc for two sub-regional membrane bioreactor (MBR) facilities.
Hyflux forecasts end to Middle East desalination doldrums
Following its recent landing of its first major Middle Eastern municipal water contract in five years, Singapore water treatment firm Hyflux said it anticipated demand in the region to accelerate.
Perth groundwater replenishment project gets go-ahead
The Western Australia state government announced on 1 August 2013 that it was adopting groundwater replenishment with reused municipal and industrial wastewater to help secure Perth's water supplies.
Giant Canadian potash project buys Veolia evaporator
Evaporation and crystallization equipment from Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies has been bought by K+S Potash of Canada to constitute the core process for a potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada.
USBF/MBR system allows Canadian wastewater reuse
A wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) expansion featuring an upward sludge blanket filter (USBF) combined with a membrane bioreactor (MBR) has been completed at Snug Cove on Bowen Island in British Columbia, Canada.
Bitumen producer using GE evaporation technology
GE's produced-water evaporation technology has been chosen for Phase 1 of the Algar Lake Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, which will produce 5,000-6,000 barrels/d of bitumen.
Israel/Canada pact to promote wastewater reuse
Israel and Canada are to work together on wastewater reuse following a ministerial meeting on 9 December 2012 in Jerusalem.
Acciona Agua commissions Fouka desalination in Algeria
The commissioning of the Fouka seawater desalination plant in Algeria, which reached full operational capacity in July, was announced by Acciona Agua on 8 August 2011.
Aquatech evaporator tech selected for Alberta oilsands
Aquatech of the USA has been awarded a contract to provide Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd (JACOS) its evaporator technology for the Hangingstone Expansion Project in Alberta, Canada.
Modern Water claims first FO commercial desalination contract
UK-based Modern Water has won what is believed to be the first ever forward-osmosis (FO) commercial contract for desalination, following its award of a UK£ 500,000 (US$ 810,000) contract for a 200 m³/d plant by Oman's Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW).
GE wins oilsands evaporator contract in Alberta
GE's water evaporation technology will treat de-oiled produced water, boiler and heat-recovery steam-generator blowdown and brackish makeup water for Sunshine Oilsands at its West Ells project in Ft McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
H2O Innovation completes Piedmont Pacific purchase
Canada's H2O Innovation Inc announced on 5 December 2013 completion of the previously announced acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding common stock shares of Piedmont Pacific Corporation of Oakland, California, for a total consideration of approximately Can$ 4.0 million (US$ 3.8 million).
Aquatech sells produced-water evaporators in Alberta
Aquatech is to design, engineer, supply and supervise installation and commissioning of a produced-water evaporator system for Pengrowth Energy Corporation's Lindbergh 12,500 bpd Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) enhanced oil-recovery facility.
Canada's ENPAR to acquire Pumptronics in $1.2 million deal
ENPAR Technologies, a specialist in electrochemical water treatment, is to acquire Pumptronics for $3 million, comprising $1.2 million in cash and the remainder in shares.
AquaSure's Victorian Desalination Plant secures its first water order
The Victorian Desalination Project (VDP) is a mega-size seawater RO facility, able to produce up to 150 billion litres of water a year when running at full capacity. Located at the southerly most tip of Australia on the Bass Coast, it was procured by the Victorian State government from AquaSure, a joint venture of Degrémont (now Suez), Macquarie Capital, and Thiess (now Ventia), in 2009, for a capital cost of $3.5 billion.
CH2M Hill teams with PUB in India
Consultant, CH2M HILL, in partnership with the Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, is providing water management services to the Rajasthan state government in India.
Brussels seeks options on how to up water reuse
A European Union (EU) public consultation on "policy options to optimise water reuse in the EU" is approaching its close as the bloc seeks to exploit a "significant potential for further development of water reuse" among member states.
H2O Innovation secures new contracts worth $6.9 million
Quebec-based H2O Innovation has secured seven contracts in Canada and the US worth a combined $6.9 million during the three months to September 30, 2016.
The Long Read: Where's the innovation in brine treatment?
As water scarcity bites and the drive to recycle water grows, the focus on recovering clean water and other resources from brine is sharpening. The challenge is particularly pertinent for industrial operators.
High-flow cartridges provide safety filter solution for RO
In recent years, considerable progress has been achieved in membrane technology in China. It has been widely used in many fields, including seawater desalination, power plants, metallurgic, petrochemical, and municipal and wastewater reuse. This article looks at the use of safety filters for RO systems and how a high-flow filter can avoid build-up of microorganisms and consequent frequent filter change. A paper factory project provides a case study. Significant advantages including high flow-rate and long service-time help Horizon's RZ filter cartridge to occupy an important position in safety filtration for the membrane water-treatment market in China. It displays superior applicability to those large-scale and super large-scale plants operated in recent years. At the same time, RZ filter cartridges have shown fine performance when handling raw water with complicated quality or large fluctuations. Compared with regular cartridges, RZ filter cartridges provide an excellent solution to safety filtration of membrane water treatment because of their longer service life, smaller investment and lower change-out cost. This article appeared in the May/June issue of D&WR magazine.
Evoqua bags municipal deals worth US$ 20 million
Water treatment firm, Evoqua, has won contracts worth more than US$ 20 million supplying its Memcor microfiltration and ultrafiltration product line to six US and Canadian municipalities. The deals were for filtration, water reuse, drinking water treatment, and reverse-osmosis pre-treatment applications.
Ras Al Khaimah raps nine desalination stations after extensive testing
Nine water desalination sites in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, have been rapped for failing water quality tests, reports Khaleej Times.
Antiscalant removes need for acid in wastewater RO
Field trials of a new scale-inhibiting chemical for use with reverse-osmosis membranes in wastewater reuse plants show that, at a low dose rate, it can increase the solubility of calcium phosphate by over one hundred times, obviating the need for using dangerous and costly acid. Current design practices for large effluent reuse projects are focused on a combination of removing phosphate by precipitation prior to the RO plant and acid dosing to reduce pH to 6.0 and hence increase calcium phosphate solubility to prevent fouling. Conventional antiscalants are ineffective at high phosphate and high recovery rates, and the only other option has been to dose large quantities of acid to reduce feed pH to below 6.2. Reducing the pH from 7.5 to 6.0 on a 2,700 m /day plant would require 0.5 to 1 ton of 95% sulphuric acid per day. Handling this quantity of acid is an environmental, health, safety and logistical problem that many plant operators would like to move away from. The results from the field trials show that using a highly active threshold inhibiting antiscalant such as Genesys PHO at a low dose rate of 2 -5 mg/L can increase the solubility of calcium phosphate by over one hundred times. This article appeared in D&WR magazine's August/September 2008 issue.
EPA funding for Arlington Desalter's biological denitrification
California's Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) confirmed on 10 February 2011 that it had secured a US$ 528,000 federal grant in January for design work on a treatment system that uses naturally occurring bacteria to remove toxic contaminants, including perchlorate and nitrate, from drinking water.
San Diego approval leads large SoCal water reuse surge
The board of the San Diego County Water Authority on 22 May 2014 approved support for the City of San Diego's proposed large-scale water recycling project, Pure Water San Diego, which the water authority has identified as the region's most likely next source of local supply.
Q&A: Peter Nicol, CH2M global market director, on Brazil's reuse policy
Peter Nicol, global market director for CH2M, outlines how the firm is helping to develop Brazil's action plan for a national water reuse policy
EPA issues second list of endocrine disruptors
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on 17 November 2010 a second list of chemicals for which it intends to issue test orders under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP).
Minister reassures public about Sydney's desalinated water
The minister for water for the Australian state of New South Wales, Phil Costa, reassured the public on 7 November 2011 that Sydney's drinking water remains completely safe for consumption and poses absolutely no health risk.
USEPA tightens monitoring rule for TC in drinking water
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on 17 June 2010 that it is proposing to revise the 1989 Total Coliform Rule to incorporate improvements recommended by a federal advisory committee.
Desalination health and environment book to be published in June
A book on the health and environmental impacts of desalination is to be published by CRC Press in collaboration with the World Health Organization on 25 June 2010.
Biwater bags California reuse contract
UK water technology group Biwater has been awarded a contract to design, supply and commission all process, mechanical, electrical and control components for a planned wastewater reuse demonstration project in California, USA.
WHO book examines calcium and magnesium in water
The desalination industry spends a lot of its time removing calcium and magnesium from water, so a book on the role and possible health benefits of these minerals should be of great interest.
Toray UF membranes online in North Dakota
An ultrafiltration UF system in North Dakota, USA, has become the first large municipal drinking-water system in the US to use Toray HFS-2020 UF membrane modules.
NSF publishes commercial/residential water-reuse standard
The first US national standard for commercial and residential onsite water-reuse treatment systems was published on 15 November 2011 by NSF International, the US-based public health and environmental organization.
Fernandez to boost ACWA's PPP push in MENA
Leading Spanish economist Luis Fernandez has joined environmental solutions provider ACWA Emirates as chief officer concessions for the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region to provide in-depth support for the company's drive into the public-private partnership (PPP) sector.
H2O Innovation raises more capital investment
H2O Innovation Inc announced on 30 September 2013 that it had completed a non-brokered private placement of approximately Can$ 1.978 million (US$ 1.915 million) with a group of private investors and shares for debts for an amount of approximately Can$ 157,000 (US$ 152,000).
AWWA hosting low-pressure membrane webcast
Implementing Low-Pressure Membrane Plants - The Utility Perspective is the title of a webcast to be hosted by the American Water Works Association next Wednesday, 11 August 2010. The webcast will review critical steps in membrane plant design, pre-procurement and construction.
BP bags stake in Saltworks
Oil and gas giant, BP, has taken a stake in Canadian water treatment company, Saltworks Technologies, through its technology investment arm BP Ventures.
Seven Seas appoints Lazard advisor to board
Desalination and advanced water treatment company Seven Seas Water announced on 27 June 2013 the appointment to its board of a former US Treasury deputy assistant secretary, Western Hemisphere.
Clairet promoted by H2O Innovation
Guillaume Clairet has been promoted by membrane water-treatment company H2O Innovation Inc to the newly created position of vice president, strategic business development.
Philippe Gervais appointed chairman of H2O Innovation
Canadian membrane water treatment specialist H2O Innovation Inc announced on 30 June 2009 that Guy Goulet was stepping down as chairman and ceasing to be a director of the company.