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* Suez CEO Gérard Mestrallet was in China at the end of November, where he signed a pair of strategic environmental partnerships.

The wastewater treatment capacity in Tangjiatuo, Chongqing, will be boosted from 300,000m3/d to 450,000m3/d, while Degrémont’s energy recovery technology will be used in a sewage sludge drying facility, also located in Tangjiatuo. Meanwhile in Tianjin, Suez has been selected as a strategic partner for the Binhai New Area development project, and will establish a master plan for the management of all water, sanitation, waste, and energy services in the development zone. The first stage of this strategic partnership will cover integrated waste management.

* Bio-Treat Technology has been awarded a 23-year build-operate-transfer project in Foshan City, China, worth RMB60 million ($8.1 million). The contract involves the
construction of the first 50,000m3/d phase of a wastewater treatment plant, which is planned to be extended in future to reach a total capacity of 200,000m3/d. Construction of the first phase is expected to commence by early 2008, and is expected to take one year.

* The Asian Development Bank is providing $202.5 million to improve water supply services in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The Dhaka Water Supply Sector Development Programme will receive two loans totalling $200 million, as well as a $2.5 million grant.

* WH-Water Investment Pte. Ltd. has acquired a 3% stake in Asia Water Technology Ltd. for approximately S$4 million. WH-Water was recently set up by the management of Asia Water for the purpose of holding shares in the company on behalf of the staff.

* PUB, Singapore’s national water agency, has signed a memorandum of understanding with membrane supplier Toray, in order to collaborate on water R&D projects. The first project under the agreement will be jointly developed by PUB, Toray and the US-based National Water Research Institute, and will focus on the use of nano-porous materials in membranes. The specific aim of the project is to produce and test mixed-matrix membranes for water purification applications.