Business Briefs: BP and the German gas market, biotechnology and contaminated land

In this week’s UK Business Briefs, BP hopes to move on Germany’s gas market, the Government awards £67,000 to an effluent management project that uses biotechnology, a Government report reveals CIRIA’s contaminated land research project is one of the best in the industry, and oil pollution incidents are on the increase due to poor storage systems.


British Petroleum has announced that they intend to play a key role in the German gas market. Chief Executive Lord Browne says that whilst the liberalisation of the European gas market was now providing BP with the opportunity to build positions in new countries, there are currently barriers to the company entering the German market. These include the need to secure fair and non-discriminatory access to the German natural gas pipeline network.

Meanwhile, in the field of waste management, Science Minister Lord Sainsbury has announced that the Government is to award £67,000 to nine member companies of the Specialised Organic Chemicals Sector Association (SOCSA), including AstraZeneca’s Brixham Environmental Laboratory, for a biotechnology demonstrator project for waste management. The venture will involve the use of novel biosensors to detect toxicity in effluents provided by the SOCSA members to comply with impending Direct Toxicity Assessment legislation.

Construction association, CIRIA, has announced that a new government report has revealed that over 70 organisations, including major contaminated land stakeholders, clients, regulators, developers, consultants, contractors and government bodies, consider CIRIA to be the most influential non-government body whose contaminated land research is accessible and worthwhile.

As well as blowing its own trumpet, CIRIA has also published a report into oil pollution from poor storage systems. The organisation has revealed that in 2000, there were 6,215 substantiated pollution incidents involving oil, a 15% increase on the number of incidents in 1999. A large number of these incidents could have been prevented if the oil had been stored in adequately bunded tank systems, says CIRIA.

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