VANCOUVER, BC – BQE Water Inc. (TSX-V: BQE), a leader in industrial wastewater treatment has entered into agreements with WesTech Engineering, Inc. (“WesTech”) a US based supplier of equipment and water treatment systems for municipal and industrial applications, and a major American power utility that supplies energy to customers in 18 states, to build and operate a water treatment plant that incorporates BQE Water’s Selen-IX™ process technology to remediate the coal ash pond at a site in the Eastern US.
Under the agreements, the project will be executed in two phases. Phase one will involve the design and construction of a water treatment plant with the capacity to treat up to 1,500 US gallons per minute. The plant is comprised of two treatment stages; the first is the removal of suspended solids and metals provided by WesTech and the second is the removal of selenium down to 7.7 parts per billion using Selen-IX™ provided by BQE Water. Phase two of the project will consist of the water treatment plant being operated jointly by WesTech and BQE Water.
“We recognize BQE Water has leading technical expertise in the treatment of selenium with Selen-IX™ which fits the needs of the coal ash pond water treatment market and lends itself to modularization. We are excited about combining our core strengths and expertise with those of BQE Water to create a strong technical and commercial partnership for this sector of the power generation industry,” commented Philip Lake, VP Technical Services at WesTech.
David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, added, “It is gratifying to see the benefits and applicability of Selen-IX™ to provide a reliable means of achieving environmental compliance for selenium removal being recognized by industries outside of mining. The partnership with WesTech and the joint successful execution of the project for one of the leading US utilities also provides the prospect to open more opportunities in this market.”
Construction of the coal ash pond water treatment plant is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2020 with commissioning to follow in the first quarter of 2021 and the start of the water treatment system in early 2021.
Selenium is a naturally occurring element essential to all life forms in trace amounts. It is transferred into water through the weathering of plant life, soils and bedrocks. Selenium is also released into water as a by-product of industrial activities such as metal mining and refining, and in the processing or combustion of fossil fuels. As a result, selenium management has been identified as an important environmental issue by regulators and industry in North America.
About Coal Ash Ponds
Coal ash is the waste by-product of electricity generation by coal fired power plants and has historically been stored in permitted ash ponds. The ash often contain metals, including selenium, requiring removal. Currently there are over 300 coal powered facilities operating across the US with coal ash ponds. Although the rate of coal ash generation is expected to decrease with clean energy initiatives, a large inventory of coal ash ponds exist across the country. Several large utilities in the US have committed to closing down and remediating existing ash ponds.
About BQE Water
BQE Water is a service provider specializing in water treatment and management for metals mining, smelting and refining. We are helping to transform the way the industry thinks about water in the context of natural resource projects by offering services and expertise which enables more sustainable water management practices and improved overall project performance at reduced risks. BQE Water invests in innovation and has developed unique intellectual property through the commercialization of several new technologies at mine sites around the world for organizations including Glencore, Jiangxi Copper, Freeport-McMoRan and the US EPA. BQE Water is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol BQE. Visit www.bqewater.com for more information.
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