Vol 11, Issue 12 (December 2010)
Need to know
- PANTOMIME VILLAINS
* Chinese industrial wastewater specialist RINO International Corp. was delisted from Nasdaq this month after “catastrophic flaws” were found in its accounts.
- CRISIS MANAGEMENT
* There’s no big hurry to get the Wonthaggi plant finished, however: this year’s La Niña effect is rapidly refilling reservoirs in eastern Australia.
- ON THE STOCK MARKET
* The UK quoted water companies have been reporting their half-year results – and it hasn’t been a pretty sight.
- WASTEWATER BOOM
* Morocco’s MAD43 billion ($5 billion) wastewater investment programme is moving ahead apace.
- Sunshine insurance for surfers
Christopher Gasson looks at the challenge of selling desal plants in the rain.
- David Lloyd Owen - When major Japanese players seek global PPP contracts, they mean it.
Urumqi, March 1989. By a stroke of sheer good fortune, I arrived in China’s Xinjiang Province (the ‘New Dominions’ of the far North West) a few days after many of the major towns were opened for the first time to foreign travellers.
- CHART OF THE MONTH - Lake Mead water level reaches historic low
This month’s chart shows the level of water in Lake Mead.
- Tearing down the Great Wall
Charles Bodhi looks back at the Asian water market in 2010, and prepares for the feast to come.
- Desal training from the best
Emma Welsh gets in training with Tom Pankratz and John Tonner.
- Rising inflation hits UK water plc profits
The half-year results from the major English and Welsh water companies demonstrate the dark side of index-linked debt. The adoption of private sewers in 2011 poses a further threat.
- Invesco sales heighten UK equity concerns
Ofwat’s latest forecast on the need for additional equity at the UK water companies sits uneasily with Invesco Perpetual’s broad-based exit from the sector. Will the regulator have to do more at the next price review?
- Austerity puts an end to free water in Ireland
Ireland’s austerity measures are set to bring free domestic water to an end. New tariffs will cover operating costs, but how will the republic fund its capital programme?
- Water index powers ahead, led by US
A strong performance from the US equipment manufacturers contributed to a strong performance for the GWI Global Water Index this month. A sell-off in the UK amid a poor results season took the shine off.
- Spain’s banking giants prepared to bail out wastewater infrastructure
Spain’s two biggest banks are keen to get on with the task of funding domestic wastewater infrastructure. Administrative bottlenecks remain.
- Civil engineers call for tariff hikes
A new report from the Spanish college of civil engineers calls for urgent action to help balance the country’s hydrological ledger.
- Taking on French giants on their own turf
German-owned Nantaise des Eaux Services promotes itself as “the alternative on the water market” in France. President Jean-Pierre Ciglia talks to GWI about how the company is positioning itself in a changing environment.
- Desal dominates Israel’s new $1bn water plan
The ongoing drought in Israel has prompted the Water Authority to unveil urgent new measures to augment supplies. Most of the planned desal and reuse expansion will not come online for another two years.
- Water left out as Syrian PPP law founders
Opening up opportunities in the Syrian infrastructure sector has been a tortuous process. Are water and wastewater projects getting left behind as the stuttering privatisation process hits another roadblock?
- EIB supports sewerage upgrade
European development funds have played a significant role in improving Syria’s infrastructure. Now, there are wider issues at stake.
- Jordan considers bonds for As Samra expansion
Jordan is keen to reduce its reliance on development funds. Could a project bond issue for its largest wastewater plant provide the solution?
- Muscat treated water to recharge wells
More than $4 billion is set to be invested in Muscat’s wastewater facilities in the coming years. The use of treated water will provide the key to lasting sustainability as the city’s wastewater operator prepares for privatisation.
- Four-stage Kuwait PWP avoids finance law
New government rules have brought on a burst of privately-finance projects in Kuwait. But the country’s water ministry is having to find ways around the legislation to commission new capacity in time to meet rising demand.
- Morocco catches up on wastewater treatment
A massive government investment plan has doubled municipal treatment levels. Is the expansion sustainable?
- Could two become ONEE?
The fractious merger of Morocco’s utilities could create a new player on the international scene. Protestors are threatening to derail the move.
- CH2M Hill takes Pima County
The biggest US water DBO to be awarded since 2003 has cemented CH2M Hill’s position as the sector’s leading contractor. Where can it go from here?
- Aqua America redraws the map
An exchange of assets will ensure Aqua America and American Water optimise their regulated portfolios and maximise economies of scale.
- RINO shares take a beating in the US
The honeymoon is over for the New York-listed Chinese water company, which was delisted from Nasdaq in early December after an accounting scandal.
- Sumitomo to enter Indian PPP market
A new agreement with Wabag will pool the companies’ resources for growth.
- DGW battles to regain investor confidence
Shares in NYSE-listed Duoyuan Global Water have struggled to recover following a knee-jerk sell-off in September. There is room for optimism.
- The Black Dragon rides high in China
A new financing deal will pave the way for InterChina Water to achieve its ambitious growth targets in 2011. Chairman Zhu Yongjun talks to GWI’s China editor Kathy Liu.
- Salcon recycles its capital in China
Malaysia’s Salcon has released $36 million of equity from its existing Chinese projects to fund further expansion. It now wants to float its revitalised subsidiary.
- Manila PPP revamp provides fillip for investors
The Philippines is making PPP reform a priority in order to attract infrastructure investment. Lenders are likely to remain cautious until words are translated into action.
- Aussie plants go into hibernation
Queensland’s expensive drought-proofing infrastructure has gone from being ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’. GWI’s Australia editor Max Borchardt reminds those with short memories just how fortunate they should feel.
- EUROPE WATER IN BRIEF
* The nine Paris suburban towns which earlier this year broke away from the regional government authority to form Est Ensemble have voted to remain part of SEDIF – at least until 31 December 2012.
- MIDDLE EAST WATER IN BRIEF
* More than 50 expressions of interest have been submitted for the Tubli wastewater project in Bahrain announced last month.
- AMERICA WATER IN BRIEF
* Officials at United Water have denied environmental criminal charges filed against it over a former contract in Gary, Indiana, where United operated wastewater treatment facilities from 1998 to 2010.
- ASIA WATER IN BRIEF
* Bio-Treat Technology has been awarded an RMB500 million ($75 million) BOT contract to build water and wastewater treatment plants in the San Men Xia Industrial Zone in China’s Henan Province.
- A new life away from America
Between 1993 and 2007, the low-pressure membrane market expanded from being a niche industrial separations business to an irresistible force in the water treatment industry. Where can it go next?