April 2005

BUSINESS/ORGANIZATIONAL BRIEFS

Office Depot noted for supporting sustainable forestry in 2004

Office Depot, Inc. announced that Tyler Elm, director of Environmental Affairs, has been recognized with the 2004 ForestLeadership Communication Award. It is one of three new awards established to honor individuals and organizations in North America committed to furthering sustainable forestry at the local, national or international level.

Elm was recognized during the ForestLeadership Conference in Toronto, Canada, on March 1, 2005.

Kennedy space Center hires Prema-Fix

Atlanta, GA— Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. has been awarded a multi-year contract by Space Gateway Support (SGS), LLC, at the Kennedy Space Center, commencing March 1, 2005. The contract is valued at more than $500,000 for the initial seven-month period, with three follow-on options estimated at an approximate addition of $3 million. The option renewals under the contract are awarded at the discretion of SGS. The contract includes the management, transportation, recycling and disposal of all hazardous waste materials generated at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base, and other government facilities, as required.

Education program will reach over a million people

Marysville, OH— The Scotts Company has signed a multi-year partnership to support Keep America Beautiful and its Great American Cleanup™, an annual community improvement and beautification program.

The effort will include providing information to more than 1 million people each year to help them understand the best ways to incorporate environmental stewardship principles when maintaining a healthy lawn and garden. The two organizations will work to build community green spaces in Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Norfolk, Virginia; and Long Island, New York.

USWA appoints Thomas Conway as international vice president

Pittsburg, PA— Thomas Conway was appointed to the position of international vice president by the International Executive Board at its meeting in late January. The appointment became effective March 1, when former Steelworkers’ vice president Andrew “Lefty” Palm retired.

Conway was appointed secretary of the Basic Steel Industry Conference (BSIC) in 1995. His additional responsibilities include field mobilization for the USWA’s Stand Up for Steel campaigns and related trade and legislative efforts at the federal and state levels.

Working jointly with the domestic steel industry, the USWA was able to achieve the steel tariffs of 2002, which rescued many domestic producers from bankruptcy and liquidation.

Baltimore City collaborates on renewable energy

Huntington, NY— The City of Baltimore and Green Energy Resources will collaborate on Renewable Energy. City wood cut as a result of storm damage, road and park maintenance, or similar circumstances are accumulating as waste in the city of Baltimore. The wood will be purchased, exported and utilized for Power Generation at Biomass plants internationally.

Maryland’s response to the new port facility for the export of “Green Energy” has been overwhelming. It included several new supply sources, including national tree trimming companies in Baltimore and throughout country. Many suppliers will provide biomass at no charge to Green Energy Resources.

EPA’s Performance Track Program expands

Washington, DC— EPA announced 54 facilities from 25 states and Puerto Rico as new members in the National Environmental Performance Track Program. Performance Track rewards facilities that voluntarily exceed regulatory requirements.

New Performance Track members have made strong commitments in a wide range of categories. For example, the Coca-Cola North America Ontario Syrup Plant in Ontario, California, has committed to reducing its water use by more than 2.2 million gallons over the next three years, more water than needed to fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools. Fuji Hunt Photographic Chemicals in Orange Park, Florida, has committed to eliminating its use of the hazardous chemical hexane, preventing almost 264,000 pounds per year of this contaminant from entering the environment. The Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire facility in LaVergne, Tennessee, has committed to reducing its annual energy use by 162,930 MMBtus, the average amount of energy 1,550 households use in one year.

Quantum patents transportable hydrogen refueling stations

Irvine, CA— Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc., a designer, manufacturer and integrator of fuel systems technologies for hydrogen fuel cell and alternative fuel applications, was awarded a U.S. patent for portable and transportable hydrogen refueling systems.

Quantum’s patent covers portable and transportable hydrogen refueling systems that incorporate self-contained hydrogen producing subsystems or accept low pressure hydrogen from external sources, and are capable of compressing and dispensing at either 5,000- or 10,000-psi (35 or 70 MPa).

Quantum has developed two models of transportable hydrogen refuelers: the HyHauler™ and the HyHauler Plus™. These transportable refueling systems incorporate comprehensive hydrogen safety systems to ensure safe handling of hydrogen during all aspects of fuel production, storage, transportation and refueling of vehicles.

 

U.S. Can announces management changes

Lombard, IL— Philip Mengel has joined U.S. Can Corporation as chief executive officer. George V. Bayly will remain actively involved in the Company as executive chairman.

Mr. Mengel, currently a director of U.S. Can, was the chief executive officer of English Welsh & Scottish Railway in Britain from January 2000 through December 2003. From 1996 to January 2000, Mengel was the chief executive officer of Ibstock plc, an international building products company based in London. Mengel is also director of The Economist Newspaper Group Ltd.

Rulmeca to assemble motorized pulleys in U.S.

Wilmington, NC— Rulmeca Corporation, a manufacturer of motorized pulleys for bulk handling, recently announced they will assemble Motorized Pulleys in Wilmington, North Carolina beginning June 2005. The pulleys, which are built specifically for belt conveyors, are designed with the motor and gearbox hermetically sealed in the steel shell, making them compact, reliable, and safe in harsh environmental conditions.

“Our customers cannot always wait weeks for Motorized Pulleys to ship from our factory in Germany,” said Rulmeca Corporation President, Mike Gawinski. “So, assembling pulleys at our Wilmington facility will enable us to ship key items within 48 hours.”

Copart strengthens Southeast presence

Fairfield, CA— Copart, Inc., a provider of vehicle salvage disposition services in the U.S., announced the opening of its seventh salvage yard in the state of Florida and its nineteenth in the Southeastern region. The 21-acre greenfield facility located in Ocala, Florida will add needed capacity in the northern part of the state, which is currently serviced by yards in Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida.

Copart, founded in 1982, provides vehicle suppliers, primarily insurance companies, with a full range of services to process and sell salvage vehicles through auctions, principally to licensed dismantlers, rebuilders and used vehicle dealers.

Xethanol Corp. announces reverse merger

New York, NY— Xethanol Corporation, a leader in the emerging waste-to-ethanol industry, announced the closing of a private placement of more than $3.0 million and the simultaneous stock-for-stock merger with Zen Pottery Equipment, Inc., a publicly traded company. The combined company will now operate under the name Xethanol Corporation and will assume and execute Xethanol’s business plan as its sole business going forward. Xethanol will retain its senior management team, led by Christopher d’Arnaud-Taylor, its chairman and chief executive officer. Xethanol’s shares will be listed on the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Bulletin Board initially under the trading symbol ZPYE.OB. Following the closing of the private placement and merger, Xethanol will have approximately 13.1 million outstanding shares of common stock.

This private placement and merger transaction will enable Xethanol to expand its capacity and capitalize on favorable market, political, environmental and pricing trends for ethanol.

Gerdau Ameristeel posts earnings of $338 million

Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. reported increased profitability and sales for 2004 and attributed the results to its adaptation to dynamic market conditions and its integration of three major acquisitions.

The company posted net income of $337.7 million, or $1.45 per fully diluted share, on revenue of $3.0 billion for the year ended Dec. 31. Those figures compare with a net loss of $26.7 million, or 14 cents per share, on revenue of $1.8 billion for fiscal 2003.

The board of directors approved the initiation of a quarterly cash dividend. The initial cash dividend of US$0.02 per common share is payable March 4, 2005 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 16, 2005.

Ely Enterprises named dealer of the year

Cleveland, OH— NexGen Baling Systems, a division of Marathon Equipment Company based in Vernon, Alabama, announced that Ely Enterprises, Inc. was named Dealer of the Year and Top Dealer Over Quota by NexGen Baling Systems for the second year in a row.

NexGen Baling Systems is one of the fastest growing baling equipment and conveyor manufacturers in the country. They offer a wide variety of auto-tie and manual tie balers to meet the throughput and budget demands of the printing and recycling industries.


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