Vol 10, Issue 7 (July 2009)
Need to know
- PRIVATE RESURGENCE
Saudi Arabia has taken another step away from private finance for its big power and water projects, despite signs that banks are regaining their appetite for such deals.
- ACCOUNTING JOKES
Saudi Arabia has taken another step away from private finance for its big power and water projects, despite signs that banks are regaining their appetite for such deals. Basin Water, the company which thought the money it raised by borrowing against its invoices could be counted as revenue, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.
- BUYING AND SELLING
We have two tie-ups between engineering firms in the US to report this month. R.W. Beck has been bought by SAIC, while Malcolm Pirnie has merged with Dutch environmental engineer Arcadis.
- Bread, butter and cream
Christopher Gasson looks at the implications of the global economy moving further eastwards.
- Insight David Lloyd Owen
New climate change projections show shorter-term impacts for the UK.
- Water Technology Markets report-CHART
This month's chart is a big one.
- Top ten new water technologies
GWI's list of the ten most important new technologies which could change the way the world of water works.
- Cascal navigates currency headwinds
Exchange rate movements took their toll on Cascal's full-year numbers, maintaining pressure on the share price. CEO Stephane Richer talks to GWI about why investors should look further than the numbers.
- Kurita leads Asian water recovery
The Asian segment of the GWI Water Index is up 29% this year, easily outperforming the broader market. The recovery has been driven by the advance of Kurita Water of Japan.
- Veolia seeks £500m from UK asset sales
The question of whether Veolia views its UK water assets as core holdings is now in doubt. It wants to offload a 49% stake in order to tidy up its balance sheet.
- Thames Water re-opens consolidation debate
Martin Cave's merger recommendations are perhaps the most talked-about aspect of his industry review. Thames Water is using the carrot of customer bill reductions to sow the seeds for future acquisitions.
- Yorkshire refinancing leaves gearing unchanged
High levels of holding company debt continue to haunt Yorkshire Water, despite a successful refinancing of the water business. The company's owners will have to tread carefully.
- Suez’ bid to take control of Agbar stalls again
The failure of a proposed share swap to raise Suez Environnement's stake in Agbar to 70% is not the end of the road. Political sensitivities may call for a more radical resolution.
- Inflation and cost of capital threaten WASCs
The owners of UK water and sewerage companies may be forced to accept lower dividends if Ofwat takes a hard line later this year, a new Moody’s report warns.
- In defence of critical infrastructure
A new report calls for greater resilience within the UK’s critical infrastructure. It avoids the question of who will foot the bill.
- Italy’s wastewater nightmare
Failure to comply with EU directives could prove costly for Italy. Strong resistance to raising tariffs means the situation is unlikely to change soon.
- Yanbu privatisation plans hit the buffers
Financial uncertainty has driven Marafiq to abandon private sector ownership and join forces with the Saline Water Conversion Corporation at Yanbu.
- SETE starts a new industrial revolution
Environmental regulation is driving investment in industrial wastewater treatment in Saudi Arabia. SETE Energy is capitalising on the trend.
- Rwanda prepares for water investment
The central African country has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. They need more water.
- Nigeria loses patience with Biwater
The British contractor is late delivering a vital project for the capital, Abuja.
- Cyprus counts the cost of desal delays
Continued setbacks in the procurement of the Episkopi desalination plant could pave the way for more temporary desal facilities on the island. It has also placed the role of the tender review authority under greater scrutiny
- Libya tries on desal BOOTs for size
The General Desalination Company has again signalled its intention to bring reverse osmosis desalination to Libya. Attracting private finance to the country's water sector will be an altogether more formidable challenge.
- Brinkmanship required on Shuweihat 2
Shrinking returns have left little appetite among the project sponsors to further increase the margins on offer to banks. The tight timetable could present GdF Suez with an uneasy choice.
- Ad Dur financial close imminent
The long-awaited financial close of the Ad Dur IWPP will provide welcome relief for GdF Suez. It will be the first Gulf IWPP to close this year.
- Tubli WWTP lined up for fast-track spin-off
A shortfall in state budget allocations could offer developers an unexpected bonus at the next stage of Bahrain’s wastewater privatisation.
- Red-Dead “pilot” scheme draws criticism
The proposed dimensions of the first phase of the Red-Dead canal project have raised eyebrows in Israel.
- ISKI’s risky tariff gamble pays off
Ensuring security of supply for Istanbul’s water users doesn’t come cheap.
- H2O Innovation’s international ambitions
CEO Frédéric Dugré believes he can build his company into a Can$100 million business within five years. To do that, he will need to set his sights beyond North America.
- Mexico gets serious about desalination
Growing water scarcity means the Mexican desal market could be on the verge of something big. Private sector participation will be indispensible, Mark Walsh finds.
- Desal with a dual nationality
Cross-border collaboration will have to advance to the next level if the US is to drink through a Mexican straw. Mark Walsh examines the pitfalls.
- A new top-10 water consultancy
The merger of Arcadis and Malcolm Pirnie will create a consultant engineer with nearly $500m of water-related revenues – and significant synergies.
- aqualia secures €750m Mexican BOT
The Spanish firm has consolidated its position in Mexico by winning a new drinking water BOT. It can now leverage its position to boost market share.
- Colombian investors shun water finance bonds
Local investors have stymied plans by a financial firm to raise money to help municipalities fast-track water infrastructure projects.
- To defer is human, to maintain – sublime
Deferring infrastructure maintenance can hit municipalities hard when disaster strikes. It can also hamper their ability to raise money to address the problem, as Kathy Shandling discovers.
- Jiangxi’s big package of tiny TOTs
A TOT package for 78 wastewater treatment plants in China’s Jiangxi Province could prove too much for a single developer. It need not be a two-horse race, however.
- Japan sends out its own black ships
As foreigners start to penetrate the domestic market, the government is looking for ways to secure a bigger share of the international water business.
- Chinese water equipment supplier raises $101m
US investors were falling over themselves to get a piece of the latest Chinese water IPO. Are they suffering from “stimulus fever”?
- Australian states to increase water spend by 20%
The Australian state governments have released their final budget figures for water expenditure in fiscal 2010.
- IN BRIEF Europe
Christ Water Technology has agreed to sell its pharmaceutical water division to BWT.
- IN BRIEF AMERICAS
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has agreed to acquire consultants R.W. Beck, a company active in the energy, water, wastewater and solid waste industries.
- The next big thing in water
New water technologies are attracting investors as never before. Is this an opportunity or a threat to the existing companies in the market? A new report from GWI takes a closer look.