Vol 12, Issue 7 (July 2011)
Need to know
- FRENCH DIRECTIONS
Suez Environnement is looking to beef up its involvement in project finance as growth from its traditional outsourced operations model tails off.
- ASSET OWNERS
The market for asset-owning water companies is hotting up. Li Ka-Shing’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure has submitted a £2.4 billion proposal to buy Northumbrian Water, the UK quoted water and sewerage company.
- DESAL PROGRESS
Hyflux has closed the financing for its 318,500m3/d Tuaspring desalination project.
- CORPORATE STRATEGY
Pennsylvania-based Aquatech International has bought Indian chemicals company WEX Technologies.
- Making water risk work
Christopher Gasson looks at how GWI’s new Global Water Risk Index might really work.
- David Lloyd Owen - The far pavilions: nation shall vie with nation at Singapore’s water week
Four days strolling up and down the two exhibition halls at the Singapore International Water Week provided a useful insight into how various countries wish to be seen in the game of turning watery contacts into solid contracts.
- CHART OF THE MONTH - Metals prices 2000 - 2011
This month’s chart shows the trend in metals prices traded on the London Metal Exchange.
- GWI Americas Index rises to all-time high
Pure-play desalination stocks ERI and Consolidated Water jumped this month as GWI’s revised desal forecast lifted some of the sector’s gloom. The move helped the Americas segment of the index to rise to an all-time high.
- Acciona steps up a gear in Latin America
The water division of Spanish infrastructure group Acciona has come from a standing start to dominate on bigticket projects in Latin America. Where can it go from here?
- Xylem prepares for autumn NYSE debut
ITT has revealed more details about how its pure-play water spin-off will look when it is publicly floated later this year. The new company is seeking underwriters for a stand-alone bond issue prior to the spin-off.
- France’s smaller water operators fight back
The apparent vulnerability of France’s smaller private water operators to the recent re-municipalisation trend is not reflected in reality, according to their representative body. Their concerns lie elsewhere.
- Brest unveils new model – at Veolia’s expense
Veolia will take a revenue hit when Brest rolls over its existing water concession next year. Could the model be a new paradigm for the French water sector?
- Scrip dividends weigh on Veolia and Suez shares
The decision by Veolia and Suez Environnement to offer a scrip dividend alternative this year clearly demonstrates that both companies are still very much in deleveraging mode.
- Spain reforms tender practices
The Spanish authorities are cracking down on the widespread practice of modifying bid prices once a contract has been awarded. Industry players say further reforms are needed in order to make the market truly transparent.
- CKI gambles on Northumbrian outperformance
Asia’s exposure to the UK regulated water sector is set to increase further, as Cheung Kong Infrastructure prepares to take Northumbrian Water private. The final bid price will depend on the perceived outperformance potential.
- Southern Water’s ratings head even further south
A ratings downgrade at Southern Water has moved the company one step closer to a dividend lock-up.
- Degrémont says BOTs key to Suez growth
The project division of Suez Environnement has been the star of recent results rounds. Frédéric Claux, the company’s head of BOT projects, tells GWI why private finance is the way forward.
- EIRIS focuses on corporate water disclosure
A fresh study has renewed the push for global investors to re-assess their holdings in light of corporate water management practices. It is a wake-up call for the world’s largest companies.
- QEWC mulls options for new desal plant
Qatar needs to construct new desal capacity over the next five years to meet the rising demand for water. The partly privatised Qatar Electricity and Water Company has been given the job of finding the best way to do it.
- Egypt seeking bidders for Gabal El Asfar
A new EPC contract to expand the massive wastewater treatment plant outside Cairo could represent the best chance of progress while Egypt’s privatisation process remains stuck in the mud.
- Greek tragedy in the Gulf?
European banks are nervous about the chance of a Eurozone default. Tom Scotney looks at the effect this could have on the Middle East.
- Hitachi prepares to pump up the volume
Hitachi has linked up with LG Electronics as part of its plan to become a new force in the global water PPP market. What is its strategy?
- Big is beautiful in Japanese desal
Japan’s research project to design a one million m3/d desal facility has reached the pilot stage.
- Arup thrives on diet of organic growth
The water business of Ove Arup has risen from humble beginnings to take on ever more complex projects around the world. Global head Fergal Whyte talks to GWI about his plans for the future.
- Trility pushes through a trio of transactions
The former UU Australia is looking to take full control of three of its joint ventures by buying out existing partners. It has yet to prove itself in the competitive project market.
- Beijing hedges its bets on water transfer
Drought in southern China has raised concerns for the South-North Water Diversion Project. Desalination and reuse could help mitigate future water availability risks.
- Aquatech moves to rationalise its supply chain
Aquatech’s purchase of a majority stake in chemicals company WEX Technologies will help make it more competitive. It is the latest in a string of similar deals in India.
- Relief for Selangor’s bondholders
Malaysia’s national water asset management company has decided to take a more flexible approach to the take-over of state water assets. GWI’s Rama Rastogi reports.
- Waiting for the moon
Charles Bodhi speculates on the Chinese water investment bubble.
- Mining a rich seam for water companies
GWI’s new primary research report focusses on opportunities for water equipment suppliers in the global mining market. The sector presents a unique set of challenges.
- AMERICA WATER IN BRIEF
American Water and Aqua America have announced a further exchange of regulated assets, which is due to complete in early 2012, subject to regulatory approval by the relevant public utility commissions.
- EUROPE WATER IN BRIEF
On 14 July, Anglian Water failed to exchange a pair of outstanding Class B bonds for a new issue due in 2037.
- MIDDLE EAST WATER IN BRIEF
Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi has stepped down from his position as CEO of Abu Dhabi national energy company TAQA in order to concentrate on his role as director general of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.
- ASIA WATER IN BRIEF
Beijing Enterprises Water Group is pressing ahead with its first international project – the Pantai 2 sewage treatment plant in Malaysia’s capital region.
- Renewable opportunities beckon for ERI
Tom Rooney was brought in to Energy Recovery Inc. in February this year, after the shares slumped 50% below the IPO price. The company needs an agent of change as it confronts the downturn in desalination, he tells GWI.
- Cooling towers warm to water solutions
The potential for water and energy savings is driving demand for cooling tower optimisation systems. The potential for retrofitting is huge, as Gordon Cope discovers.