Water purification co BPC raises $5m

The company specializes in the biological purification of water from oil sludge and other organic pollutants.

Israeli water purification company BioPetroClean has closed its latest financing round, raising $5 million in from 21 Ventures LLC, which invested $3.5 million in its previous round. The proceeds from the latest round, which reflected a company value of $10 million before money, will be used by BioPetroClean to reach the sales stage, both by setting up a sales network, and by funding several potential BOT projects.

BioPetroClean has developed a biological technology for cleaning waste water in oil sludge and other organic pollutants, through a process called Active Chemostat Treatment (ACT). The company was founded in 2006 by chairman and COO Hezi Marueli, CEO David Amir, and chief scientist Prof. Eugene Rosenberg.

"During the refining process, refineries produce large quantities of water, that they have to treat rather than pumping it out as effluent. We bring the quality of the water to a level that enables them to either pump it back out into the environment or improve its quality through a further treatment process to a level that will enable it to be used for irrigation or in industry," explains BioPetroClean director of business development Yael Barash.

BioPetroClean claims that its technology is environmentally friendly, effective and much more economical than the processes currently used in industry. The company's technology is currently being tested in a pilot project at a number of key facilities in Israel and other countries, and Barash gives as examples, two projects now underway in South Africa. One is at a refinery in Durban and the other was a one-time project carried out in cooperation with global energy giants BP and Shell. "We carried out a single cleaning project for them two months ago, and we're now working on the terms of a contract with them for a larger project," adds Barash.

As to the potential financial value of the contracts, Barash notes that at small sites, meaning tanker farms for ports, a project can range from $300,000 to $800,000. A facility at oil refineries and drilling sites, which are considered large sites, will cost $1-3 million. A single service (cleaning an accrued quantity of water at a specified site) will cost around $50,000 to $250,000.

21 Ventures manages $70 million in investment. It has made 16 investments to date in companies in Israel and the US.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 16, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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