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First Ever NADB-Funded Clean Energy Project Goes to Pollutech International

January 2003 -- 

Pollutech International Limited was awarded a contract with the North American Development Bank (NADB) to undertake a technical and financial review for a project reducing environmental emissions at a Texas sugar processing facility. The industrial assignment was the first of its kind for the NADB, which typically finances infrastructure projects. Thanks to a timely lead from the Canadian Consulate in Dallas. Pollutech won the contract based on its experience with a similar air quality project in Nicaragua.

Pollutech specializes in the management and financial analysis of international projects in the fields of environmental engineering, chemistry and biology. Active in more than a dozen countries, the Oakville-based company maintains close contact with Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) staff at Canadian embassies and consulates worldwide. "We routinely send TCS e_mails to advise them of the types of projects we are interested in and to obtain feedback about opportunities that have been brought to our attention," says Richard Laughton, company President. Pollutech also participates in major industry trade shows and conferences, such as Globe and Americana, where Richard makes a point of touching base with representatives of the TCS and other IFIs, including the NADB. It was the company’s strategy of maintaining high visibility with these key players that paved the way to the Texas contract.

When George Shannon, Consul and Senior Trade at the Canadian Consulate in Dallas, heard that the NADB was looking for an environmental consultant, Pollutech immediately came to mind, as he knew of the company’s similar experience in Latin America and of its close association with the IFIs. "George wasted no time in passing the ball to us; we grabbed it and ran," says Richard. In June, 2002, Pollutech arranged a visit to the NADB offices in San Antonio to follow up directly on this unique opportunity. The NADB was excited to see that a Canadian company had taken the initiative and welcomed the Pollutech representative with "open arms and good old Texas hospitality." By October, negotiations were underway and in December, the contract was signed.

When asked what made landing the contract possible, Richard does not hesitate to credit TCS. "Our hats are off to the incredible effort they put forth," he says. "I will forever treasure that business card that George handed me at Globe 2002 in Vancouver with the note scribbled on the back. But this is only one instance of how TCS has contributed to our international growth. Trade officers are there to help and to promote Canadians who offer services to international clients. Where else can you find sales people that you have already paid for through your taxes?"

Of course, Pollutech’s qualifications—not to mention perseverance—also had a part to play in securing the contract. "Once the link had been made with the people at NADB, we were able to convince them that our company was right for the job," explains Richard. "Firstly, as Canadians, we could provide a completely independent evaluation of the project, because we have no ties to either American or Mexican interests." Created under the auspices of NAFTA, NADB is capitalized in equal parts by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their common border. "We also have experience working with sugar mills, bagasse fired boilers and molasses by_products, as well as the capability to provide not only a technical analysis, but also a financial evaluation of the alternatives."

Pollutech sees this project as the beginning of a long term relationship with the NADB. In fact, a second opportunity has already arisen and a third prospect is under discussion, this time on the California-Mexico border. Pollutech has introduced other Canadian firms to opportunities with the NADB, and a team has since been assembled, and a proposal submitted, for the second potential project.

For companies that are considering bidding on IFI-funded projects, Richard has some salient advice. "You don’t need to be registered, but it doesn't hurt to get on the list and make yourself known." Pollutech is registered with the WB (World Bank), the IADB (Inter American Development Bank), the ADB (Asian Development Bank), the CDB (Caribbean Development Bank) and the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development). "When you fill out the registration forms, use Canadian project examples if you haven't done any international work but go back and update the forms after you have actually completed a few international projects." Richard also cites the importance of participating in trade missions, getting listed on the many databases available such as WIN Exports and membership in trade association such as the Ontario Environment Industry Association and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. "However, it is the interaction that results from joining these associations that is the real key to success," suggests Richard. "It’s not enough to just be a member, you need to be a participant. For Pollutech, this type of networking has led not only to places on many international teams bidding on projects, but also to opportunities in Canada."

Pollutech is a member of Trade Team Canada Environment (TTCE) and an avid supporter of the Trade Commissioner Service. The company also hosts the Project Finance Cluster, which provides assistance to Canadian exporters in the environment sector.

For more information, contact:

Export Financing Division, DFAIT

Tel.: (613) 995_7251

E_mail: ifinet@dfait_maeci.gc.ca

For More Information Contact:

CENSOL Inc. - Comprehensive Environmental Solutions
Milton, Ontario CANADA L9T 4N8
Tel: 416-219-6950
FAX: 905-878-8775