DOE Environmental Study Deals Savannah River Site Another Setback

In a late April publication of an environmental impact statement related to surplus plutonium disposition, the U.S. Dept. of Energy declared that converting radioactive material into mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) is no longer a preferred approach at the Savannah River nuclear site in Aiken, S.C. "DOE has no preferred alternative" to dispose of the 14.4 tons of surplus plutonium, said the document.

Fluor Wins $1B Natural-Gas Powerplant Award in Virginia

Utility Dominion Virginia Power awarded to Fluor Corp. an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract for a proposed 1,600-MW gas-fired powerplant in Greensville County, Va., the firm said on April 25. Expected to cost more than $1 billion, it will be the state's largest natural-gas- fueled facility. The unit would meet projected load growth and replace power contracts expiring in 2019, Dominion said. Fluor already is building the utility's 1,300-MW Brunswick County plant. Dominion will seek state regulatory approval in July. But some independent power producers that submitted unsuccessful proposals are raising concerns that Dominion did not consider less expensive options.

ODOT Taps Three To Test-Drive Alternative to Gas-Tax Funding

The Oregon Dept. of Transportation has selected three vendors—Azuga, Sanef and Verizon Telematics—to manage part of the state's pay-by-mile road-usage charge program that it sees as an alternative to dwindling gas-tax revenue, said Jim Whitty, an agency manager in ODOT's Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding. Beginning on July 1, up to 5,000 volunteer participants in the program will be charged a per-mile fee, instead of paying a gas tax at the pump. "We've got to find a more sustainable and fair way to fund highway maintenance and new construction," he said.

Hill International Rejects Bid From Private Equity Firm

The board of risk and project-management firm Hill International on May 5 unanimously rejected an unsolicited takeover bid—valued at about $276 million—from private equity firm DC Capital Partners LLC. The firm, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, said the proposal "substantially undervalues" it. The offer was a premium of 40.7% over Hill's $4.85 closing price on May 1, says a media report. DC Capital, which owns engineer Michael Baker, noted concerns about Hill's "disproportionate exposure" to the Middle East region, which made up nearly half of its 2014 consulting work.