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FCC buys the second-largest oil waste management company in the US from Siemens


FCC buys the second-largest oil waste management company in the US from Siemens

  • The Spanish group has acquired Hydrocarbon Recovery Services Inc. (HRS) and International Petroleum Corp. for 182.5 million dollars.
  • The two new US subsidiaries, which together operate in 21 states with a population of 160 million, will be integrated into FCC Ámbito.


FCC has acquired from Siemens Water Technologies Corp. (SWT) its two US subsidiaries specialised in treatment and recovery of industrial oils and other ancillary services to the oil industry: Hydrocarbon Recovery Services Inc. (HRS) and International Petroleum Corp. The two companies will be integrated into FCC Ámbito, the group's industrial waste management division.
The operation cost 182.5 million dollars, i.e. 9 times 2008 EBITDA. As a result, FCC, which is controlled by Esther Koplowitz, will become the second-largest player in this field in the USA.

HRS and International Petroleum operate in 21 states in the Mid-Atlantic, South-East and South Central regions of the USA, an area with a total population of 160 million.

The acquired group, which is based in Houston, Texas, has 38 industrial plants, a fleet of 362 vehicles, and 528 employees. It is expected to obtain 140 million dollars in revenues in 2008.

The group makes a major contribution to sustainability by converting waste into products that act as an alternative to fossil fuels.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that recycled oil uses just one-third of the energy of the equivalent amount of crude. It also states that 64 litres of oil are required to make a litre of lubricant oil, but that it takes only 1.6 litres of used oil to make 1 litre of usable recycled oil.

Based on the EPA's figures, the 300 million litres of reused oil and the 250 million litres of hydrocarbon-contaminated water that are recycled and reused avoid the use of 13 billion litres of fossil fuel per year, i.e. equivalent to 130 supertankers full of crude oil each year, or 2.5 supertankers each week.

Additionally, the recovery of metal components from over 30 million oil filters that are processed each year produces 5,300 tonnes of steel, and the over 1.2 million litres of solvent used in the process are recovered for reuse.

The acquisition is a further step in the FCC's strategy of expanding in the USA and strengthening its environmental management activities, a field in which FCC is the outright leader in Spain.

In fact, FCC's industrial waste management division, headed by FCC Ámbito, increased revenues by 28% in the first nine months of 2007 to 143 million euro. SHS will be integrated into FCC Ámbito, FCC's industrial waste division, which is the leading industrial waste manager in the Iberian Peninsula, processing over 2 million tonnes of industrial waste per year, much of which is recycled.

Each year, FCC Ámbito recycles such waste as:

  • 400,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard that are reused, thus avoiding the need each year to fell seven million trees, the equivalent of 3,900 hectares of forest or approximately 8,000 football fields planted with trees. And it saves 3.5 million cubic metres of water that would be used in papermaking.
  • 150,000 tonnes of glass, both consumer-separated and from industrial sources, which is recycled and reused, with the consequent saving of virgin raw materials.
  • 30,000 tonnes of plastic, from both manufacturing by-product and post-consumer waste.
  • 15,000 tonnes of solvents, which are re-distilled or reused as feedstock as an alternative to oil derivatives.
  • 20,000 tonnes of electrical and electronic waste, such as TV sets, computers, fridges, air conditioners, washing machines, etc. which are disassembled and fractionated for reuse in the production process.
  • 2 million kilos of aerosol cans, fluorescent tubes, batteries and other consumer products, which are recycled in FCC plants and whose components are reused.

With this latest acquisition in the USA, FCC Ámbito, the FCC group's industrial waste management division, will further strengthen its leading position in waste management; it employs over 1,800 people, manages close to 3 million tonnes of waste and obtains over 300 million euro in annual revenues, using 86 waste treatment and recycling plants.