Vol 10, Issue 12 (December 2009)
Need to know
- ENGLISH PATIENTS
* The UK regulator, Ofwat, published its final determination for the 2010-2015 price review period on 26 November.
- ON THE MARKET
* VA Tech Wabag, the Indian-Austrian water engineering specialist, is looking to raise $100 million on the Bombay Stock Exchange at the end of next year.
- NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE GULF
* China has made a bold step into the power and desal market by financing a sizeable chunk of the Salalah independent water and power project in Oman.
- A tale of two cycles
Christopher Gasson asks why we don’t value water as much as carbon.
- David Lloyd Owen - Beyond financing: utilities can make their limited funding go further
There is one golden rule in financial publishing: just before your book goes to press, a wonderful new study comes out.
- Water trades in the Murray-Darling Basin (2007-8 vs. 2008-9)
This month’s chart comes from the Australian Water Markets Report for 2008-2009, which is a statistical analysis of Australia’s water rights market.
- Cause for celebration
Emma Welsh wonders who or what will be the next Lionel Messi of the water industry.
- A new beginning for American Water
The exit of RWE from American Water’s share structure should finally allow the stock to perform to its full potential. Goodwill from the original acquisition continues to burn a hole in the balance sheet.
- Water index ends the year on a high
The GWI Global Water Index is at its highest point since September 2008. A positive price review from the regulator helped the big UK stocks to outperform this month.
- Ofwat dishes out its pre-Christmas bonus
UK water stocks staged a relief rally after the regulator eased its stance on tariff reductions in AMP5. Shareholders will increasingly be expected to help fund future growth.
- UK half-year profits hit by rising bad debts
Increasing bad debts mean that most of the quoted UK water stocks struggled to improve profitability in the six months to September. The future looks brighter as far as energy bills are concerned.
- The divided future of United Utilities
The sale of two of United Utilities’ non-regulated businesses last month was only the tip of the iceberg. With the group now planning a new round of asset sales, is it time for a name change?
- Spain urged to seek alternative funding models
The Spanish government is being urged to be more creative about financing its wastewater infrastructure.
- 10 years of Berlin’s water PPP
A new study claims that the part-privatisation of Berliner Wasserbetriebe in 1999 has been a success. Not everyone is satisfied.
- Berlin faces mutiny over profits
The city government wants to crimp private profits, while keeping a lid on tariffs. RWE has cried foul play.
- Remondis Aqua breaks the ice in Russia
The German company has beaten off local competition to win a water and wastewater PPP in the city of Arzamas.
- Chinese support nudges Salalah towards January financial close
The Salalah IWPP is on course to reach financial close in January. It features the largest ever Chinese contribution to a Gulf power and water project.
- Bidding field splits over Muharraq civil works
Bahrain’s pioneering effort to incorporate a large network component into its flagship wastewater BOT has proved too risky for some bidders.
- Financing reshuffle fails to deter Djerba bids
A change in the debt/equity split on Tunisia’s first desalination BOT means that the client could face higher bids from the three Spanish teams pitching for the project.
- DSI kicks off acquisitions with $40m deal
The acquisition of Passavant-Roediger will bring valuable references and technological know-how to the Dubai-based contractor. It is already looking for more targets.
- Plugging in Israel’s new wave of desal plants
Mekorot will have to step up its investment in order to link the new wave of Israeli desal plants to the national water carrier. Even with a 40% tariff hike, the sums still don’t add up.
- Leaving the comfort of the incubator
Kinrot Ventures is dedicated to supporting very early-stage water technologies through to commercialisation. CEO Assaf Barnea discusses the challenges and opportunities.
- Big is best as Koch gears up for growth
With the MegaMagnum and a new automated production facility, the membrane manufacturer expects accelerated growth in the reverse osmosis market.
- A braided approach to the UF market
The acquisition of Puron brought Koch Membrane Systems into the membrane bioreactor business. It has adapted the technology to move into the drinking water treatment market.
- Who is David Koch?
Besides being one of the richest men in America, the executive vice president of Koch Industries has a passion for membrane technology.
- Private activity bonds for water gain steam
Congress is again looking at private activity bonds as a possible means of funding water infrastructure projects.
- A new dawn for desalination in Chile
Water scarcity and industrial development are pushing desalination up the agenda in Chile. The mining sector is spearheading a wave of new projects in the north.
- Chile mulls municipal desal BOTs
Chile’s ministry of public works is laying the foundations for a roll-out of municipal desalination plants. The viability of the scheme hinges on tariffs.
- IFC to ramp up watsan commitment
The World Bank’s private sector promotion arm wants to expand the scope and the dimensions of its water investment portfolio. Usha Rao-Monari talks to GWI about the way forward.
- Water decision-making made easy
The International Finance Corporation and McKinsey have published an illuminating report on how governments in four different countries can tackle water scarcity most cost-effectively. It reaches some surprising conclusions.
- $100m Wabag IPO seen in autumn 2010
The cash generated from Wabag’s impending stock exchange flotation will allow the company to grow through acquisitions. Managing director Rajiv Mittal also wants to branch out into plant ownership.
- India pushes technology to the front line
A national initiative to increase technology use through pilot projects in India’s water sector could lead to bigger opportunities for international players, argues GWI’s Rama Rastogi.
- Qiqihar forced to backtrack over tariff increase
Water tariffs in the city of Qiqihar had become the most expensive in China – until a recent cutback. Kathy Liu reports on an unusual reversal of a national trend.
- Malaysia faces up to its sewerage challenge
Malaysia is getting serious about tackling its wastewater problems. Max Borchardt reports from Kuala Lumpur.
- “Target 200” for Queensland
South-East Queenslanders have a choice – either reduce consumption, or face higher bills to pay for more desalination plants. Max Borchardt reports.
- EUROPE WATER NEWS IN BRIEF
* Welsh Water will be hoping for an orderly handover when Lord Burns stands down as chairman in 2010.
- MIDDLE EAST WATER NEWS IN BRIEF
* ACWA Power International has beaten off competition to acquire the 58% interest in AES Barka held by AES Oasis, a JV between AES Corporation (61%) and the IDB Infrastructure Fund (38.9%).
- AMERICAS WATER NEWS IN BRIEF
* American Water has acquired Environmental Management Corporation (EMC) from The Linde Group.
- ASIA WATER NEWS IN BRIEF
*A 50-50 joint venture company called HJ NewSpring has been set up by Singapore’s Hyflux and Japanese engineering firm JGC Corp. in order to develop greenfield water projects in China.
- From zero to hero – the rise of ZLD
Regulatory drivers are ensuring that zero liquid discharge is gaining in popularity. Capital and operating costs can still prove prohibitive, as Gord Cope discovers.