Dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer.

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Factory fabrication reduces field welding, reduces installation time and costs, allows modular construction and provides consistent seam and liner quality


News

FGI Welcomes EnviroCon Systems, Inc.

The FGI is pleased to welcome its newest member, EnviroCon Systems, Inc. (www.enviroconsystems.com).  EnviroCon is a national geomembrane supply and installation company based in Houston, Texas. In addition, EnviroCon offers both full-service custom fabrication and pipe divisions.  The fabrication division specializes in stock and specialty items such as sump boxes, secondary containment, and large-scale flexible liner panels. The pipe division offers a wide range of HDPE pipe and fusion equipment for sale, rental or turnkey services. Their FGI liaisons are Chris Trevino, Fabrication Sales & Division Manager (trevino@enviroconsystems.com), and Derek Huffman, Estimator/Project Manager (derek@enviroconsystems.com). They can be reached at (281) 443-2592.  Please help us welcome EnviroCon Systems, Inc. to the FGI!!!!

FGI Welcomes Titan Environmental USA

The FGI is pleased to welcome its newest fabricator member, Titan Environmental USA (www.titanenviro.com).  Titan is based in Houston, Texas and specializes in high quality prefabricated geomembrane panels used in a variety of environmental containment projects.  Their FGI liaison is Tonya Switalski, General Manager, who can be reached at tonya@titanenviro.com or (832) 819-9758.  Please help us welcome Titan Environmental USA to the FGI!!!! 

Summer Internship Program

Due to the great success over the past two summer, the FGI is continuing its Summer Internship Program.  This program connects undergraduate and graduate Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), as well as other universities, with FGI member companies for a Summer, 2018 Internship in fabrication, manufacturing, testing, installation, marketing or other related areas for hands-on geomembrane experience. 

See available internships.

Solmax Acquires GSE Environmental

GROUPE SOLMAX SHAKES UP GLOBAL GEOSYNTHETICS INDUSTRY BY ACQUIRING LEADING PLAYER, GSE ENVIRONMENTAL, FROM LITTLEJOHN & CO. AND STRATEGIC VALUE PARTNERS, LLC.

Montreal, Québec, Canada (December 20, 2017) – Groupe Solmax, a Canadian-based company and an industry leader in the production of high-quality polyethylene geomembranes for industrial and environmental applications has acquired GSE Environmental based in Houston, Texas from Littlejohn & Co., LLC and certain funds and accounts managed by Strategic Value Partners, LLC, both Greenwich, Connecticut-based private investment firms. Both Solmax and GSE operate globally in the geosynthetic products sector, supplying large industrial players with high-quality containment systems for domestic, hazardous or industrial waste burial sites, retention ponds, fracking and heap leaching pads.  The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ are Solmax’s financial partners for this transaction. Both will have equity positions in the company.

 

“This acquisition and the combination of Solmax and GSE creates a true global industry leader.  In a highly fragmented market of polyethylene geomembrane manufacturing, we will have the opportunity to lead and help reshape the industry, based on competitive drivers such as operational excellence and efficiency, superior quality products and deep R&D capabilities,” explained Jean-Louis Vangeluwe, President of Solmax. “Merging GSE with Solmax will also give us a broader manufacturing footprint and an expandedworldwide commercial network which will in turn enable us to work more closely and cohesively with customers, including local service companies and specialized installers who require customized attention.  Furthermore, we believe our size and industry leadership will help us work more effectively with global corporations that seek suppliers with manufacturing capabilities around the world and financial means.”

“La Caisse is pleased to take an equity stake in Solmax as it acquires one of the largest companies in its industry and creates the undisputed global leader in geomembrane manufacturing,” stated Christian Dubé, Executive Vice-President, Québec at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. “In addition to supporting a company from Québec as it grows internationally, la Caisse is investing in a company that is making a difference for the environment.”

“Once again, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is investing in Solmax to support the growth of this Québec-based flagship company, and a Fonds partner company since 1996. With the leadership of its management team, as well as dedicated employees and quality products, Solmax will become a worldwide leader in its field. This transaction will put the Varennes-based company in a good position to lead the global geomembrane market,” said Normand Chouinard, Executive Vice-President, Investments at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ.

“On behalf of my management team, I would like to thank the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ who have been incredibly supportive business partners through this negotiation process. We clearly saw their commitment to enable Québec entrepreneurs who strive for defining growth and value creation on a world-wide scale,” added Jacques Côté, Solmax Founder and Chairman.

Solmax drew on the guidance and services of the following firms to complete this strategic acquisition: McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted as Canadian legal advisors and Jones Day as international legal advisors; PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance inc. acted as financial advisor.  National Bank of Canada and The Toronto-Dominion Bank acted as joint underwriters for the senior credit facilities.

The financial terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed.  

ABOUT GROUPE SOLMAX

Groupe Solmax is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of PE geomembranes and offers high-standard containment solutions. Its products are sold in over 60 countries. They are used by the major industrial companies in the mining, energy, waste management, water, and civil engineering sectors. Solmax’s products are used to protect soils from contamination in applications as critical as the landfills of the world’s most populated cities to the tailings or heap leach pads of mining operating in environmentally fragile ecosystems.

ABOUT GSE ENVIRONMENTAL

GSE Environmental is a global manufacturer and marketer of geosynthetic barrier systems, stabilization products, and drainage systems used for the containment and management of solids, liquids and gases for organizations engaged in civil engineering projects, waste management, mining, water, wastewater and aquaculture. GSE's principal products are polyethylene-based geomembranes, geonets, geocomposites, geosynthetic clay liners, concrete protection liners and vertical barriers. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA, GSE maintains sales offices throughout the world and manufacturing facilities in the US, Germany, Thailand, China and Egypt.

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC 

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2017, it held $286.5 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

ABOUT FONDS DE SOLIDARITÉ FTQ

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a development capital investment fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments. As at May 31, 2017, the organization had C$13.1 billion in net assets, and through its current portfolio of investments has helped create and protect 186,440 jobs. The Fonds is a partner in more than 2,700 companies and has 645,664 shareholder-savers.

For more information:

Groupe SOLMAX:

Andreea Sasu

Marketing Manager

+1 450 929 1234, ext: 247

asasu@solmax.com

FGI Expands Summer Internship Program

Left to Right:  Raymond Pu, Abdou Diouff, Billy Hernawan, Civil and Environmental Engineering Students in front of the Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory, home of the FGI, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) expanded its student internship program to three companies and six interns during the summer of 2017.  The first year of the internship program in 2016, one intern worked for Colorado Lining International (CLI) at various sites in the United States. The main objectives of the program are to introduce future civil engineers to the field of geosynthetics field, civil engineering construction, and provide a connection between possible future employers and the many undergraduate (~2,400) and graduate students (~1,200) at the UIUC.  This past summer, CLI re-hired Guo Cheng, a graduate student studying geotechnical engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the UIUC, plus three additional summer interns:  Billy Hernawin (see Figure 1), also studying geotechnical engineering in CEE at the UIUC, Raymond Pu (see Figure 1), studying transportation engineering in CEE, and Xin Li, studying structural engineering in CEE.  In addition to CLI, Owens Corning (OC) participated in the FGI’s Internship Program by hiring Abdou Diouff (see Figure 1), a graduate student studying Construction Management in CEE. Finally, the Layfield Group hired Elsa Wingaardh, (see Figure 4), who is also studying Construction Management in CEE at the UIUC student, to work at their San Diego, California fabrication facility.  These six interns spent between seven (7) and thirteen (13) weeks learning about all aspects of geomembrane fabrication, testing, installation, design, estimation, quality control, and quality assurance.  In addition, they learned about other geosynthetic products that are typically installed with geomembranes, such as cushion geotextiles, geonets, drainage composites, and geosynthetic reinforcement.

 While at CLI’s corporate headquarters in Parker, Colorado, Billy Hernawin, Guo Cheng, Xin Li, and Raymond Pu worked on factory fabrication of geomembrane panels including welding, patching, and both destructive and non-destructive testing of the completed panels. They were also introduced to all levels of CLI staff and leadership.  While in the fabrication facility, Raymond, Guo, Xin, and Billy were instructed on proper geomembrane seam welding techniques and guidelines.  The interns were also exposed to hands-on field experience with basic operations, including:  site cleaning, unrolling and unfolding the geomembrane panels, preparing the panels for welding, performing air channel and vacuum testing of the field seams, and recording and archiving  all of the roll numbers and inventory. 

 At the Owens Corning (OC) facility in Granville, Ohio, Abdou Diouff gained valuable hands-on experience in the research and testing of geosynthetic materials and for a variety of applications.  As an intern, one of Abdou’s first projects was to conduct tests to quantify the interface friction or shear strength of the RhinoMat and RhinoSkin woven-coated polyethylene geomembrane products. These results were used to analyze the suitability of their existing products for a range of slope angles, and assist in developing new geomembranes for the geomembrane market to accommodate steeper slopes.  Abdou was also tasked with evaluating the use of earth anchors for ballasting exposed geomembrane covers from wind uplift on top of closed landfills.  Developing a design methodology to utilize an anchor design for wind uplift mitigation was an important and large project for Abdou.  Finally, Abdou traveled to Mississippi to attend a Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) organized meeting with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center, and local engineers.  During this meeting, the GMA contingent updated attendees on new specifications, geosynthetic products, and applications with these end users.

 Finally, Elsa Wingaardh spent ten (10) weeks over the summer at Layfield’s fabrication facility in beautiful San Diego, California.  Elsa gained valuable exposure to the business aspects of a construction company while working in the Design and Estimating Department at Layfield. Once a project request was received from the sales department, Elsa assisted in providing an in-depth analysis of the specifications, quantifying the project, pricing costs, such as labor, materials, sub-contractors, equipment, and fabrication costs, and creating a final project budget proposal.  To assist with preparing the final budget proposal, Elsa visited several job sites to gain sufficient experience about the work being performed so she could contribute to developing the necessary construction materials.  Layfield also treated Elsa to several fun activities during the summer, including bowling, horse racing at Del Mar Race Track, and attending Layfield’s summer picnic at Rohr Park in Chula Vista, California.

 The FGI is already working on their 2018 Summer Internship Program and hopes to see it expand even further.  The internship program has been a great assistance to the FGI research activities at the UIUC because the interns return with hands-on experience of the testing, installation, and quality control aspects of geomembranes.

Owens Corning offers Geosynthetics Innovation Laboratory Tour

Owens Corning (OC) offered a tour of their Geosynthetics Innovation Laboratory at the Granville Science and Technology Campus in Granville, Ohio on 26 October 2017, as part of the “Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Applications” Short Course offered by the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI)

Welcome sign for Owens Corning Laboratory Tour

Owens Corning (OC) offered a tour of their Geosynthetics Innovation Laboratory at the Granville Science and Technology Campus in Granville, Ohio on 26 October 2017, as part of the “Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Applications” Short Course offered by the Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) and the Ohio State University (OSU) on 27 October, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio.  All registrants of the FGI Short Course were invited to attend the Owens Corning activities on Thursday evening, prior to the short course on Friday. 

In addition to providing shuttle service to/from Columbus, Ohio for all attendees, OC also hosted a welcome reception, delicious dinner, and comprehensive tour of the new state of the art Geosynthetics Innovation Laboratory.  Steve Thaxton and Andy Durham, both of Owens Corning, also gave an informative presentation on innovative geomembrane liner and cover solutions.  Many questions, comments, and experiences made by thirty-nine (39) attendees proved the course to be a great success.

The FGI is dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer.  The FGI is an industry sponsored consortium of manufacturers, fabricators/installers, designers, regulators, and material suppliers of fabricated geomembranes. For more information on the FGI, please visit www.fabricatedgeomembrane.com.

FGI Short Course Addresses Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Applications in Columbus, OH

The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) presented a short course in Columbus, Ohio on 27 October 2017 at the Ohio State University (OSU) to a sold out, standing room only crowd. The short course was offered in collaboration with the Ohio State University and Owens Corning.

The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute’s short course on Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering Applications (IMG_14.37.jpg)

The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI) presented a short course in Columbus, Ohio on 27 October 2017 at the Ohio State University (OSU) to a sold out, standing room only crowd.  The short course was organized by the FGI and was offered in collaboration with the Ohio State University and Owens Corning.   Figure 1 shows the short course in the beautiful Ohio Staters Traditions Room at the OSU Union in which the short course took place. 

The excellent and timely presentations focused on the challenges and environmental concerns with containment and engineering technologies and how geosynthetics and geomembranes can be used to mitigate the concerns and risks.  The beginning portion of the short course focused on current advances in containment technology for water applications.  For example, a presentation by Allison MacKay of the Ohio State University, focused on the importance and scarcity of water resources, while Tim Stark of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), provided insight into the latest advancements in geo-storage designs and materials.  Doug Evans, of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) reviewed permitting geosynthetic liner systems for water resource projects.  Finally, Boyd Ramsey of Ramsey Consulting gave an informative presentation on geosynthetics in water containment and conveyance, followed by Joe Troxell, of S&ME, describing the large water reservoir containment project in Columbus, Ohio and the liner system design and factory v. field seam strengths.   

The second half of the presentations focused on various applications of geosynthetics in civil engineering applications.  For example, Chris Merklin, of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) reviewed geosynthetics in Ohio roadway projects.  Gary Zych of American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio gave an informative presentation on effective disposal techniques for Coal Combustion Residuals using PVC geomembranes

Brian Queen, of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) provided insight on geomembrane wrinkles and leak location surveys.  A presentation by Tim Stark detailed elevated temperatures in containment applications.  Finally, Daniel Pradel, of the Ohio State University, reviewed the use of MSE walls backfilled with lightweight cellular.  Nick Majerus of Demtech Services and Allen Bullock of Leister Technologies provided geomembrane welding demonstrations throughout the day.

Many attendee questions, comments, and experiences made the course a great success.  The topics and speakers from the successful short course are shown below:

Importance and Scarcity of Water Resources –Allison MacKay (OSU)

GeoStorage - Tim Stark (UIUC)

Permitting Geosynthetic Liner Systems for Water Resource Projects – Doug Evans (ODNR)

Geosynthetics in Water Containment & Conveyance:  Materials and Selection - Boyd Ramsey (Ramsey Consulting)

Columbus Reservoir Project - Joe Troxell (S&ME, Inc.)

Geomembrane Welding Demonstrations - Nick Majerus (DemTech) & Allen Bullock (Leister)

Geosynthetics in Ohio Roadway Projects - Chris Merklin (ODOT)

Containment for Coal Combustion Residuals - Gary Zych (AEP)

Geomembrane Wrinkles and Leak Location Surveys – Brian Queen (OEPA)

Elevated Temperatures in Containment Applications – Tim Stark (UIUC)

Use of MSE Walls Backfilled with Lightweight Cellular – Daniel Pradel (OSU)

Summary on Fabricated Geomembranes – Tim Stark (U. of Illinois)

The FGI is dedicated to advancing the use of fabricated geomembranes through education, research, and technology transfer.  The FGI is an industry sponsored consortium of manufacturers, fabricators/installers, designers, regulators, and material suppliers of fabricated geomembranes. For more information on the FGI, please visit www.fabricatedgeomembrane.com

Raven Industries Closes Deal to Acquire Colorado Lining International

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., (September 1, 2017)

Raven Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:RAVN) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Colorado Lining International, Inc., headquartered in Parker, Colo. Raven completed a cash transaction, paying approximately $14 million with the potential for up to $2 million in additional earn-out payments over the next three years. This acquisition will immediately align under the company’s Engineered Films division, an innovative manufacturer of polymer film and sheeting.

The acquisition enhances the company’s geomembrane business through extended service and product offerings with the addition of new design-build and installation service components. As previously announced, this acquisition will advance Raven Engineered Films’ business model into a vertically-integrated, full-service solutions provider for the geomembrane sector. Following the acquisition, Raven Engineered Films will operate facilities in four states — South Dakota, Colorado, California and Texas — to further optimize and expand customer services and logistics.

”We are excited to welcome the Colorado Lining International team to the Raven family and further expand our service and product offerings for the geosynthetics industry,” stated Anthony Schmidt, Vice President and General Manager of Raven Engineered Films. “The cohesive team dynamics between Raven and the CLI group have made the close process seamless, and we plan to progressively leverage the positive synergies of the two companies to increase overall value for our customers.”

With the close of the acquisition, John Heap, Owner and CEO of Colorado Lining International, will join Raven leadership under the Engineered Films segment as Director of Business Development reporting to Schmidt. Raven also plans to integrate the Colorado Lining International team of 90 employees into its Engineered Films division and align fabrication and materials directly within its core capabilities. Key suppliers and installation contractors of both companies will continue to play a vital role in the success of our business strategy.

“Our group is thrilled to be joining Raven,” stated Heap, “and we look forward to the positive enhancements we will bring to the industry by combining decades of experience. We will directly contribute to the enhanced market growth of the geomembrane segment as a new full-service provider, offering a valuable alliance to the existing partnerships Raven and CLI have established with their customers over time.”

About Raven Industries, Inc.

Raven Industries (NASDAQ: RAVN) is dedicated to providing innovative, high-value products and solutions that solve great challenges throughout the world. Raven is a leader in precision agriculture, high-performance specialty films, and lighter-than-air technologies. Since 1956, Raven has designed, produced, and delivered exceptional solutions, earning the company a reputation for innovation, product quality, high performance, and unmatched service. For more information, visit http://ravenind.com.

About Raven Engineered Films

Raven Industries’ Engineered Films Division has established a well-known reputation for manufacturing and supplying high performance flexible films and sheeting to major markets throughout the United States and abroad. Engineered Films’ strategic mission is to produce critical film and sheeting for the containment and protection of Earth’s natural resources and asset value. Its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and proven product expertise offer the most innovative and targeted product solutions in the industry. Raven Engineered Films welcomes all inquiries and can be reached at +1 (800) 635-3456. Learn more about Raven Engineered Films at http://ravenefd.com.

About Colorado Lining International

Colorado Lining International, Inc. (CLI) is a full service Geosynthetics Contractor offering factory expert geomembrane fabrication and installation under one roof. CLI offers assistance in flexible membrane liner selection, coating material selection, fabrication techniques and design/build installation. By taking a site-specific approach to geomembrane and liner selection, clients can rest assured the material will fit the application and will be fabricated and installed by trained and certified crews. For more information, visit http://coloradolining.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and the protection of the Act’s Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements.  While this release is based on management’s best judgment and current expectations, actual results may differ and involve a number of risks and uncertainties.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, without limitation: uncertainties as to the timing of the transactions described above; the possibility that various closing conditions for the transactions may not be satisfied or waived; uncertainty of the expected financial performance of the combined operations following completion of the transaction; the ability to successfully integrate CLI’s operations and employees; the ability to realize anticipated synergies and cost savings; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the transaction; general economic, financial and business conditions that could affect the company’s financial condition and results of operations; as well as risk factors listed from time to time in the Raven’s filings with the SEC.  Raven cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Raven disclaims any obligation subsequently to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

Contact Information
Margaret Carmody, Director of Communications
Raven Industries
+1 (605) 336-2750
margaret.carmody@ravenind.com

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FGI Hosting Geosynethetics in Civil Engineering Short Course

Join the FGI, The Ohio State University and Owens Corning for an exciting short course in Columbus, Ohio and an Owens Corning Facility Tour in Granville, Ohio - 10/26 and 10/27

FGI Publishes Article on Protecting Geomembranes from Animal Damage in Geosynthetics Magazine

June/July Issue, Geosynthetics Magazine

Close-up of damage to PVC geomembrane from deer hooves

Resisting animal and insect attacks of geomembranes is an interesting problem.  Geomembrane installers and manufacturers have had numerous geomembranes damaged by bears, deer, coyotes, birds, beavers and ground squirrels.  In most cases, the damage is incidental to something else the animal is seeking.  Deer damage the liner with their hooves trying to climb out.  Bears dig through the liner to try and find something on the other side (organic matter left under a liner in a retrofit).  Coyotes burrow under the liner on the slope to create a den that doesn’t freeze.