Vol 12, Issue 2 (February 2011)
Need to know
- RESULTS SEASON
* Suez Environnement announced a strong set of results, with revenue up 10.9% at constant foreign exchange rates to €13.9 billion (operating profit margins held steady).
- SPANISH OPPORTUNITIES
* Agbar snapped up nine new contracts with a combined backlog of €1.28 billion in Spain last year, suggesting that while the country might be in the economic doldrums, its municipalities have a growing interest in private sector participation.
- DESAL DEALINGS
* Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation raised eyebrows by directly awarding the $124 million contract for a 68,000m3/d (15 MIGD) multiple effect distillation unit at Yanbu to Doosan.
- LOVE AFFAIRS
* Pall Corporation, the industrial filtration and separation specialist, saw its shares jump by 10% at the end of January after CEO Eric Krasnoff announced that he is retiring in March 2012 to pursue a “personal relationship” with general counsel Sandra Marino.
- PRIVATE PROGRESS
* The state of Gujarat in India has signed more than a dozen memoranda of understanding with private water companies in a bid to accelerate the spread of public-private partnerships in the region.
- Water revolutions
Christopher Gasson looks at the implications of change in North Africa.
- David Lloyd Owen - Is Ofwat treading a Finn line?
There has been a flurry of remarks about regulating England and Wales’s water.
- CHART OF THE MONTH - IBNET: average operating cost versus average revenue per cubic metre
IBNET, the World Bank’s water utility benchmarking programme, has published a book of statistics,
- After the hurricane of Oz
Charles Bodhi turns meteorologist to assess what Australia can learn from recent extreme weather events.
- Montezuma’s revenge
Will our new report be the answer to Emma Welsh’s mid-life crisis?
- Abengoa splits Befesa Agua in two
The Spanish construction and renewable energy group wants to expand its water business. Its strategy to achieve this is to separate project development and research and development from the business of building plants.
- Acciona prioritises international growth
The outlook for the Spanish domestic market is bleak. Acciona Agua has identified four international markets which will compensate for this weakness. The company’s president, Luis Castilla, explains the strategy.
- Madrid mulls sale of 20% stake in CYII
Spain’s municipalities are waiting until local elections are out of the way before considering asset sales which might strengthen their balance sheets. The utility serving the nation’s capital is said to be first in line.
- Water stocks flat as CEOs exit the sector
An unusually active month for CEO departures failed to rock the boat as far as broader water stock performance was concerned. Rumblings of increased M&A activity could have a positive effect going forward.
- Anglian pays up to refinance acquisition debt
The early repayment of £450 million of acquisition debt taken out by the Osprey consortium included the UK water sector’s first ever holding company bond. It will prove more expensive to service than the debt it is replacing.
- Inima weighs up its future outside OHL
The water arm of Spanish construction group OHL has seen slower growth than predicted over the last five years. It is still an attractive asset.
- The end of Spanish private water?
Could the sale of Inima be the start of a foreign rout of Spanish water?
- UK water plc assesses Basel III
Regulatory changes could conspire to raise the cost of borrowing for UK water companies. Investors are getting twitchy.
- Private water fights back in Portugal
The Portuguese private sector claims the municipal water sector is breaking competition rules. It is taking the issue to the European Commission.
- EBRD lending focus shifts to wastewater
The EBRD enjoyed a record year in terms of water lending in 2010. What were the major trends informing its investment decisions?
- Realising the potential of regionalisation
The EBRD has a long history of lending to Romania. Now, it is proposing to make its largest ever commitment to facilitate the development of the country’s water sector.
- Equities exodus continues in UK water sector
The dumping of Invesco’s stake in Northumbrian Water has added fresh impetus to a troubling new trend. Where will it all end?
- Private finance nervous as protests engulf Egypt
The protests in Egypt brought business to a standstill. GWI’s Middle East editor Tom Scotney looks at the effects on the country’s water privatisation.
- Doosan takes a calculated risk at Yanbu
The new super-size 68,000m3/d MED unit to be furnished by Doosan at Yanbu could revolutionise the competitiveness of the technology in the Gulf. The deal looks to have been a no-brainer for the client.
- TSE sales put NWC on path to independence
The lack of progress on tariff reform has made Saudi Arabia’s goal of self-sufficiency look difficult. Against this, the huge success of its plans to commercialise sales of treated sewage effluent have given a boost to NWC’s bosses.
- Muharraq win is O&M coup for Samsung
The BOT contract for the Bahraini wastewater treatment plant is the largest operating contract to date won by the Korean company in the Middle East. Its environmental boss hopes to make it the first of many.
- Tunnel vision proves insightful
The inclusion of a deep-tunnel sewer in the Muharraq tender was a divisive move. Planners say it could now be a model for the future.
- Revitalised Gaza desal plan seeks donors
A new agreement could pave the way for a land-based desal plant to serve the Gaza Strip. Who will foot the bill?
- Israel’s tariff hikes under renewed scrutiny
The Israeli authorities have split into two camps in the debate over whether administrative costs are behind a steep rise in water tariffs. It is a new blow for privatisation.
- AWK bullish on military market
American Water CEO Jeff Sterba used the company’s recent investor day to outline his new vision. He is particularly bullish on military water contracts.
- Keeping Suez’s Eastern promise alive
Charles Chaumin, president of Suez Environnement Asia, talks to Olivia Jensen about the region’s importance for the company.
- China responds to COD reduction challenge
Water management has finally risen to the top of the political agenda in China. The government will have to balance rampant economic growth with ambitious pollution reduction targets.
- Coming clean on water pollution in China
NGOs are leading the fight to bring corporate water polluters in China to justice. The threat of ‘name and shame’ isn’t working for some multinationals.
- Gujarat and Delhi jump on PPP bandwagon
New initiatives are set to boost the pipeline of water and wastewater PPPs in India. The challenge will be to convert memoranda of understanding into hard contracts.
- Aussie stormwater spending in the spotlight
Historical underinvestment in Australia’s stormwater infrastructure cannot take all the blame for the devastating effects of recent flooding. At least the issue has moved up the agenda.
- Suez Environnement makes waves Down Under
A 121% jump in Suez’s revenues from Australia last year is only the tip of the iceberg. The group is taking steps to capture a greater share of the country’s water and solid waste markets.
- EUROPE WATER IN BRIEF
* The Global Depositary Receipts of Russian pump manufacturer HMS Group began trading in London on 14 February, after the company’s IPO raised $360 million in total, valuing HMS’s equity at $967 million.
- MIDDLE EAST WATER IN BRIEF
* Israeli component company Amiad Filtration Systems has acquired the remaining 34% stake in its French subsidiary Amiad France SARL.
- AMERICA WATER IN BRIEF
* It has been a month for CEOs moving on. Energy Recovery Inc. boss G.G. Pique announced his retirement just weeks before the company’s full-year earnings were due to be announced, while Watts Water Technologies CEO Pat O’Keefe resigned at the end of January for health reasons.
- ASIA WATER IN BRIEF
* A three-tranche issue of Islamic notes by Malaysia’s water asset holding company at the end of January was upsized from MYR2.5 billion to MYR2.7 billion ($884 million) on strong demand.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Water Company of the Year
Honouring water’s top performers The complete list of companies and projects which have been shortlisted for this year’s Global Water Awards.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Desalination Company of the Year
For the desalination plant supplier which has made the greatest overall contribution to the desalination industry in 2009.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Public Water Agency of the Year
For the public sector organization that has made the greatest contribution to meeting the challenges of water supply during 2010.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Desalination Deal of the Year
For the deal signed during 2010 which represents the most significant step forward for the industry in terms of financial innovation or in meeting the demands of challenging circumstances.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards:Water Reuse Project of the Year
For the water reuse project that represents the most significant achievement for the industry in 2010.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards:Desalination Plant of the Year
For the desalination plant commissioned during 2010 that represents the most impressive technical achievement in the industry.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Industrial Water Project of the Year
For the project commissioned in 2010 that represents the most impressive technical achievement in the field of industrial water.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Water Stewardship Award
For the commercial or industrial company or organization that has made the greatest contribution to the sustainable management of its water cycle.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Water Deal of the Year
For the deal, contracted in 2010, which has made the biggest contribution to the advancement of public-private partnerships in the international water sector.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Water Technology Company of the Year.
For the company which has made the most significant contribution in the field of water technology over the past year.
- The 2011 Global Water Awards: Water Performance Initiative of the Year
For an initiative undertaken by a water utility which represents the most significant commitment to improving the long-term performance of water services to the public. Those shortlisted in this category will present their initiatives on 18 April at the Global Water Summit in Berlin, with the audience voting live for the final winner.