European business briefs: Spanish oil, Irish recycling, French sewage, Gas deal, Environmental award, Water guidelines

International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato stated this week that he sees no immediate reduction in oil prices, due to continued strong demand and a lack of investment in oil infrastructure. A lack of investment, along with this year's bad weather, is one of the drivers of the current high oil prices. Environmental regulations have made it harder and more expensive to get permits to build new refineries. Finding big oil reserves is also more difficult, making development of new finds less cost-effective.

Irish Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government stated this week that, while Ireland has a long way to go to improve its waste management, recycling in the Dublin area has increased by 300% over the last three years, thousands more households now had access to recycling facilities.

WPL's Diamond wastewater treatment system has been installed at Chez Jallot - a French manor house which will be featured on the current series of Channel 4's Grand Designs Abroad. Located near Limousin, in central France, the residence is off mains drainage and its location unsuitable for the standard Fosse Septique (septic tank) and soakaway. WPL's system was selected for its odour-free treatment with average five yearly de-sludge intervals and low servicing requirements.

French industrial gas maker Air Liquide announced this week it will invest €190 million in a cogeneration plant that will supply steam and power to a Shell refinery and another company in the Netherlands. Air Liquide agreed to supply the companies with steam and power for 15 years.

Mr Pat the Cope Gallagher, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, this week presented the Environmental Protection Agency's Castlebar laboratory with a certificate confirming its accreditation by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) in compliance with International Standard ISO/IEC 17025. The laboratory was assessed under regulations laid down by the National Accreditation Board which is the Irish body responsible for the formal recognition of the competence of laboratories in accordance with international standards.

And finally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week issued new guidelines to prevent the contamination of drinking water supplies. According to recent research from the WHO and UNCIEF, only 50% of the world's population has access to running water at home, with the rest relying on wells and rivers. The updated guidelines aim to help authorities improve water quality at its source.



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