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Over 50 companies and projects have been selected for the shortlist for this year's Global Water Awards.

The judging panel of GWI’s editorial team and senior industry figures has this month drawn up its shortlist of entrants for the 2006 Global Water Awards. It provides an interesting snapshot of activity in the industry during the past year. Some categories have attracted stiff competition while others appear neglected. For example, it became necessary to drop a separate category for Thermal Desalination Plant of the Year, because there were just not enough plant completions during the course of the year. We also dropped the Desalination Supplier of the Year and Desalination Consultant of the Year categories because there was no consensus among the judges as to how they should be awarded. We have merged Water Project of the Year with Wastewater Project of the Year because there was a shortage of sufficiently interesting water projects completed during the year.

That said, it is likely to prove a lively contest this year, particularly in the Desalination Deal of the Year category. 2005 proved a bumper year for deals in that sector, and it is going to be a bitter fight to find the winner.

Now it is over to you – the subscribers of GWI – to make your decision. In the next few days a voting system will go up on the www.globalwaterawards.com website and you have until 24 February to cast
your vote. We will then audit the vote and announce the final awards in our March issue. In each category there is one winner and runner up who will receive a crystal glass trophy and a certificate.

May the best company win.

WATER COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2006

Aqua America
What is it? The largest US-based publicly traded water company, serving more than 2.5 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, New York and South Carolina

What has it done? Grown its customer base by 4% per year since 1995, and delivered consistently growing returns to its shareholders year-in year-out

Why is it shortlisted?
* Aqua America has had an extraordinary year with a record number of acquisitions (30) and an increase in its share price of 53%

* Aqua America’s remarkably consistent operating performance has done more than any other company to revitalise investor interest in US private water companies

And why not? The stock is overpriced.

Hyflux
What is it? Singapore’s high-flying water treatment specialist

Who’s responsible? Hyflux is listed in Singapore. Majority shareholders: CEO Olivia Lum (34%) and investment houses Istithmar (UAE), Matthews International Capital and Fidelity Investments

Why is it shortlisted?
* Hyflux is the most dynamic Asian water treatment company. In 2005 it secured new contracts for plants in Tianjin and Ningxia, began construction of the Tianjin Dagang desal facility in China and spread its wings to the Middle East with two DBO projects for Nakheel in Dubai

* It is responsible for the record-breaking 136,000m3/d SingSpring desalination plant at Tuas, Singapore

* Innovative finance, first class engineering and faultless delivery have enabled Hyflux to create more shareholder value in a shorter period of time than any other company in the water sector

And why not? Its competitors have spread dark rumours

Marubeni PPIP
What is it? The plant power and infrastructure division of the Japanese industrial concern responsible for water and power projects

What has it done? Marubeni is involved in the water sector in two areas: in large integrated power and water projects and in international water management contracts.

Why is it shortlisted?
* Most recently it has agreed to take an 80% interest in Berlinwasser International

* Marubeni has proved itself to be an innovative thinker in both areas of its involvement in the sector. Its Taweelah B financing has been shortlisted for Desalination Deal of the Year

* Its proposed acquisition of an 80% interest in Berlinwasser International shows vision on a scale that has not been seen in the private water industry for some years

And why not? Will the delivery match the deal making finesse?

Shanghai Industrial
What is it? China’s most aggressive water market player

Who’s responsible? SIHL is a major Chinese ‘red-chip’, a diversified company listed in Hong Kong and controlled by the Shanghai municipal government

Why is it shortlisted?
* In just two years, SIHL has caught up with Beijing Capital and established itself as one of the top two Chinese water companies

* Cornered the sought-after US$55 Xiamen water and sewage deal, China’s biggest deal after Pudong and Shenzhen, beating competition from Veolia

* In 2005, SIHL also secured 3 deals in Jinan under its General Water China JV, a sewage treatment project in Shenzhen and two water supply projects in Shaanxi

And why not? The achievements of Veolia and Suez in China are perhaps greater

Veolia Wasser Deutschland
What is it? Veolia Water’s subsidiary in Germany, serving nearly 5 million water and wastewater customers. The business includes OEWA in Leipzig and a 25% interest in Midewa, a company which is managed by Veolia

What has it done? Germany has been one of the strongest performers in the Veolia portfolio in 2005, with several new contracts

Why is it shortlisted?
* Germany is a difficult market for private water companies, with strong support for communal ownership and a tradition of high environmental standards. However, municipalities are pragmatic and judge by results. Veolia Wasser Deutschland has been able to win the case for private water by demonstrating it can offer world class, cost effective, environmental standards

* The company has invested heavily in developing local expertise through its professional education centre at Weisswasser and its support (totalling €50 million per year) of research at the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water

And why not? Veolia is everywhere this year

WATER DEAL OF THE YEAR 2006

Algiers management contract, Algeria
What is it? A five-year, €120 million management contract for water and wastewater services in the city of Algiers

Who’s responsible? Suez Environment and Société des Eaux et d\'Assainissement d\'Algers

Why is it shortlisted?
* Algeria’s desalination programme gets the headlines, but the investment will be wasted unless the reliability of the water distribution system is improved. €200 million will be invested in the project

* It is the first major private water management contract in Algeria

And why not? Only a management contract.

AS Tallinna Vesi IPO
What is it? The initial public offering on the Tallinn Stock Exchange of the city’s water and wastewater company

Who’s responsible? CAIB, LHV and Hansapank were joint global co-ordinators and bookrunners; Carnagie was co-lead manager. Legal advisers: Linklaters and Raidla & Partners (company side); Lextal Law Firm (city side); Baker & McKenzie and Tark & Co. (underwriter side). United Utilities and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development reduced their joint shareholding from 50.4% to 35.3% following the listing

Why is it shortlisted?
* The deal represents the culmination of the EBRD’s innovative investment strategy for Tallina Vesi, which started with a sovereign-backed loan in 1994, supported privatisation in 2001, and became an equity commitment in 2003, when the bank bought out International Water Ltd

* The deal highlights how development banks might use equity investment as an intermediate step between municipal control and local investor participation

* The IPO was highly successful. The 6,000,000 shares offered at €9.25 were 6x oversubscribed and raised €55.5 million in new money. Shares are currently priced in the region of €14

And why not? Tallinna Vesi has not been as ambitious internationally as Manila Water since the IPO

Bydgoszcz Revenue Bond
What is it? A revenue bond financing by Miejskie Wodociagi I Kanalizacja w Bydgoszczy Sp. z o.o (“MWiK”) for the rehabilitation, clean-up and expansion of the water, wastewater and stormwater systems in the City of Bydgoszcz in Poland. The first series of bonds provides for up to PLN420 million (approximately €105 million) of bonds to be issued in one or more tranches. The bonds have been rated BBB- (equal to the rating of the City of Bydgoszcz)

Who’s responsible? Bank Handlowy w Warszawie and Bank Pekao were joint arrangers. EBRD and Bank Pekao were anchor investors. Legal advisors were Clifford Chance and Soltysinski, Kawecki, and Szlezak. Other advisors were DS Consulting, DHV and Lemtech

Why is it shortlisted?
* It is the first revenue bond for a municipal water company in Central and Eastern Europe. The structure is an important development because it matches the need of municipalities for investment in their water infrastructure and the need of local institutional investors for secure and stable long-term investments

* The bonds were issued as part of a wider financing involving EU ISPA and Cohesion Fund grants. The bond is a rare example of EU grant funding working in support of debt finance as opposed to in competition with it

And why not? It is a relatively small deal in a relatively small city

Lydec IPO, Morocco
What is it? Flotation of the water and electricity utility for Casablanca on the Casablanca stock exchange

Who’s responsible? CFG Group, Capital BMCE and Safabourse advised on the IPO. Suez remains a 51% shareholder in the company

Why is it shortlisted?
* Lydec is probably the best managed private water company in Africa. Suez’s decision to float the company brought local residents in as shareholders – 86% of individual investors in the IPO live in the Casablanca region. This is the best guarantee that Lydec will continue to build its reputation as a flagship concession in the continent

* The offering was 25 times oversubscribed

And why not? IPOs weren\'t so special last year

Manila Water Company IPO
What is it? The introduction of the concessionaire for East Manila, under a 25- year contract, to the Manila stock exchange

Who’s responsible? Major shareholders are Ayala Corp. (Philippines), United Utilities, Mitsubishi & IFC. Financial advisers on the deal were ING and BPI Capital (Bank of the Philippine Islands), with Baker & McKenzie as legal advisor. The lead arrangers were the underwriters, UBS and BPI Capital

Why is it shortlisted?
* A successful IPO on the Manila stock exchange in March brought $65 million to invest in the company’s capital works programme and was followed by a strong share performance in its first 9 months as a listed company

* In 2005, the company boosted its income, brought down systems losses to a record low and rolled out the water network across its service area. It applied to tender for its first project outside the Philippines in 2005, in India

* The IPO has created a strong regional private water company

And why not? IPOs weren\'t so special last year

Selangor Water Concession, Malaysia
What is it? Syabas began water supply operations in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in January 2005 under a 30-year concession contract

Who’s responsible? Syabas is 70% owned by Puncak Niaga, Malaysia’s largest listed water company and 30% by the state government investment arm Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB)

Why is it shortlisted?
* Malaysia’s largest water deal so far, serving 6 million people, with planned investment of US$3 billion over the life of the contract

* Difficult financial deal secured involving US$770 million financial assistance for the concessionaire from the federal government in return for Syabas assuming US$600,000 of the former public utility’s debt

* Concluded after long negotiations overcoming the unfavourable financial position of PUAS, the former public utility, and the changing legal environment for water in Malaysia

And why not? Has the deal created value for the consumer?

DESALINATION DEAL OF THE YEAR 2006

Hamma
What is it? A 200,000m3/d seawater RO plant that will supply potable water to a quarter of the population of Algiers

Who’s responsible? Hamma Water Desalination, the project company which is owned by GE Infrastructure Water & Process Technologies and the Algerian Energy Company, together with EPC contractors Orascom Construction Industries and Besix

Why is it shortlisted?
* The largest seawater desalination plant in Africa to date

* The first non-recourse project financing and the first PPP in Algeria

* A benchmark for future projects in AEC’s desalination programme

And why not? It took a long time to close

Ras Laffan B IWPP
What is it? A 1,025MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) and 272,765m3/d (60MIGD) desalination project located 80km northeast of Doha

Who’s responsible? The Q-Power developer consortium of Qatar Electricity & Water Company (55%), International Power (40%) and Chubu Electric (5%) with EPC contractors Doosan Heavy Industries and Siemens

Why is it shortlisted?
* Qatar’s second IWPP and one of the largest infrastructure projects to date

* Meeting the growing demand for power and water to keep pace with Qatar’s economic development

* Successful close of $696.5 million project financing in May. First capacity due in April 2006

And why not? What new ground does it break?

Shoaiba IWPP
What is it? A 900MW power and 880,000m3/d (194MIGD) power and desalination plant located 110km south of Jeddah

Who’s responsible? A developer consortium of ACWA Power, Khazanah, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Malakoff with EPC contractors Doosan Heavy Industries and Siemens

Why is it shortlisted?
* The largest new build IPP/IWPP in the world by debt finance raised

* Saudi Arabia’s first IWPP, serving as a template for other projects

* Financed with 20-year loan tenors (a Saudi record and joint GCC record) and six-year EBF tenors (a first for Saudi Arabia and a GCC record)

And why not? Taweelah B is arguably more innovative

Skikda, Algeria
What is it? A 100,000m3/d seawater RO plant which will be built in the east of Algeria near the border with Tunisia. It will provide potable water to a population of nearly 500,000

Who’s responsible? Project company Aguas de Skikda comprised of the Geida consortium of Abengoa (Befesa and Codesa), ACS Cobra-Tedagua, Sadyt and the Algerian Energy Company

Why is it shortlisted?
* The first project finance deal in Algeria to be supported entirely by local banks

* Achieved successful financial close. CPs approved and the first drawdown of funds occurred on 28 December

* The first project in Algeria’s desalination programme secured by the Spanish Geida consortium

And why not? Hamma was arguably more difficult

Taweelah B IWPP
What is it? A power and water station that will have an eventual capacity of 2,000MW and 750,000m3/d (165MIGD)

Who’s responsible? Taweelah Asia Power Company which is owned by ADWEA (60%) and the developer consortium of Marubeni, JGC Corporation, BTU Power and Powertek (40%). The EPC contractors are Siemens and Fisia Italimpianti

Why is it shortlisted?
* The first IWPP for both Marubeni and JGC Corporation in the UAE and the first large overseas investment for JGC

* The first IWPP to use funds provided by an export credit agency (JBIC) on a large scale ($1.2 billion)

* Acts as a stepping stone to greater involvement in Middle East IWPPs by Japanese (and other Asian) developers

And why not? Shoaiba was bigger

DESALINATION PLANT OF THE YEAR 2006

Ashkelon, Israel
What is it? The world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant with a 320,000m3/d capacity

Who’s responsible? The developer was VID, a consortium comprising IDE (50%), Veolia (25%) and Elran Dankner (25%). The plant uses a Calder DWEER energy recovery system and Dow Chemical, FILMTEC™ reverse osmosis (RO) membrane elements

Why is it shortlisted?
* It is more than twice the size of the largest existing SWRO plant. It raises the ambition of the whole RO sector, proving that RO desalination can meet the challenges of large-scale municipal supply

* It has achieved the lowest price for desalinated water in the world after Singapore’s Tuas plant, at $0.52/m3

* The triple seawater intake 1km offshore is an engineering achievement

And why not? The IKEA yellow and blue colour scheme has its detractors

Carboneras, Spain
What is it? The largest desalination plant in Europe with a capacity of 120,000m3/d

Who’s responsible? A joint venture of Befesa, Pridesa and Degrémont, the plant uses Hydranautics membranes

Why is it shortlisted?
* It is the largest and most impressive product of the Spanish desalination industry: the most competitive and well established seawater reverse osmosis market in the world

* Technical highlights include the largest degreasing system in the world (at 70m long) and its 300m long seawater intake

And why not? The plant was completed in 2004 but only inaugurated in 2005 due to a dispute over funding with the farmers it serves

Tuas (SingSpring), Singapore
What is it? The largest desalination plant in the tropics with a capacity of 136,380m3/d

Who is responsible? Hyflux is the developer, EPC and operations & maintenance contractor. Black & Veatch provided design, permitting, construction and commissioning services, with continuing O&M assistance. Toray supplied the RO membranes and Calder, the DWEER energy recovery system

Why is it shortlisted?
* With a first year water price of $0.48/m3 it offers the lowest cost desalinated seawater in the world. This price breakthrough has challenged the perception that desalination is a costly solution to water scarcity, and by doing so has given a major boost to the global desalination industry

* Energy consumption of the plant is 4.1kWh/m3 – one of the lowest in the world

* Construction began in early 2004 and it began producing water in mid-2005
And why not? The price is not transparent

WATER/WASTEWATER PROJECT OF THE YEAR 2006

Columbia Heights Membrane Filtration Plant, Minnesota, USA
What is it? A 265,000m3/d capacity water treatment facility

Who’s responsible? Minneapolis Water Works contracted Black & Veatch to design and build the facility

Why is it shortlisted?
* It is the largest of its kind in the western hemisphere

* Meeting stringent drinking water standards using poor quality raw water from the Mississippi is a technical challenge

And why not? Is big beautiful enough?

Gabal el Asfar WWTP, Egypt
What is it? Wastewater treatment plant with 650,000m3/d peak capacity

Who’s responsible? The plant was built by Degrémont in partnership with Arab contractors

Why is it shortlisted?
* The development is the first phase of a larger scheme that, when completed, will be the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world, treating over 3 million m3/d of water at nominal capacity

* Biogas sequestration from anaerobic digestion will provide 60% of the plant’s energy

And why not? It isn\'t finished

Milano San Rocco WWTP, Italy
What is it? Milano San Rocco, is one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in Italy. It handles 50% of Milan’s wastewater and has the capacity to treat the wastewater of 1,050,000 people

Who’s responsible? Degrémont was contracted to design, build and operate the plant

Why is it shortlisted?
* It’s one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in Italy

* The site of the facility in a protected environmental area required a solution that would minimise the environmental impact. It takes up an area of only 130,000m2

And why not? Is big beautiful enough?

Mountain House, California, USA
What is it? An 11,500m3/d wastewater treatment plant built in a tank beneath the operations building

Who’s responsible? It has been built on a DBO basis by PERC, a company specialising in water reclamation facilities in southwestern US

Why is it shortlisted?
* PERC specialises in building WwTPs that you wouldn’t know existed. This one is particularly clever because it offers nearly six times the capacity of the original plant using just one tenth of the land

* It is among the first chemical-free treatment facilities in the US

And why not? Not as pretty as PERC’s Palm Valley Arizona plant

Racine WTP, Wisconsin, USA
What is it? A 187,500m3/d membrane water treatment facility

Who’s responsible? Zenon Environment Inc

Why is it shortlisted? A year after 100 people died in Milwaukee’s 1993 Cryptosporidium outbreak, nearby Racine found its own plant overwhelmed by high turbidity and organic material. Zenon’s new plant uses its ZeeWeed membrane technology to eliminate this risk

And why not? There are other membrane plants

Sha Tin WWTP, Hong Kong
What is it? A $44 million project for HK’s Drainage Services Department producing a high quality effluent

Who’s responsible? Biwater Man Lee, Biwater’s HK-based water contractor

Why is it shortlisted?
* Following final sedimentation, biologically treated effluent is clean enough to be discharged in to Victoria Harbour

* Biogas produced during sludge digestion is used by dual fuel engines to provide hot water for the existing anaerobic sludge digestion tanks that in turn generate electricity to existing plant equipment

And why not? Is it outstanding enough?

INDUSTRIAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR 2006

Magnolia Power Plant ZLD system, California, USA
What is it? A zero liquid discharge system for an award-winning power plant in Burbank using Aquatech’s High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (Hero) system followed by a crystalliser

Who is responsible?: Aquatech International Corporation

Why is it shortlisted?
* Aquatech’s Hero system gave significant energy savings over a conventional evaporator system

* The system’s compact design and efficient operation helped the plant, which is situated within the city limits, negotiate California’s notorious permitting process

And why not? ZLD is not new

MOL Duna Refinery, Hungary
What is it? €50 million upgrade of the 22,850m3/d wastewater treatment system at Hungary’s largest oil refinery

Who’s responsible? Earth Tech built the plant on a 15-year build-own-operate basis with finance arranged by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Why is it shortlisted?
* Earth Tech has taken the lead at MOL and at Pemex in Mexico in finding innovative solutions to industrial water pollution in emerging markets

* The project meets strict EU compliance standards while responding to the demands of 23 local stakeholders

And why not? The financing is more interesting than the technology

Tirupur, India
What is it? A $222 million complete water service for the textile area of Tirupur, serving both the local dyeing industry and the municipality

Who’s responsible? Larsen & Toubro and Hindustan Construction Corporation acted as EPC contractors; United Utilities and Mahindra & Mahindra have the O&M contract. Finance was arranged by IL&FS

Why is it shortlisted?
* This is a groundbreaking project in terms of cross subsidisation of municipal water supply by industrial water users. Residential customers pay $0.10/m3 for their water, while industrial customers pay $1.00/m3

* A second stage involving industrial wastewater treatment is now underway, backed by IL&FS

And why not? The wastewater issues are still being addressed

Ravensthorpe Nickel, Australia
What is it? A process water system for a nickel mine in Australia incorporating two 3,600m3/d MED desalination units

Who’s responsible? Veolia’s Entropie unit

Why is it shortlisted?
* It is a neat piece of technology. The MED units are powered by waste heat from the mine’s sulphuric acid production on a hybrid basis, switching to conventional steam power when sulphuric acid is not in production

* The site is 50km inland so seawater usage is constantly maximised to ensure that energy expended on pumping the water is minimised

And why not? It is clever, but it is not going to save the world

DESALINATION COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2006 - LARGE PLANTS

ACWA Power
What is it? A joint venture between the Al Muhaidib Group and the Abu Nayan Group set up to pursue opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s power and water sector

What has it done? Scooped the pool in Saudi Arabia, winning a backlog of more than 1,000,000m3/d in one year through its interest in the consortia which won tenders for the Shoaiba IWPP, Rabigh IWSPP and the six satellite plants on the Red Sea Coast

Why is it shortlisted?
* A year ago bien pensant opinion was against the Saudi desalination programme: bankers muttered about delays and political risks. Then ACWA Power seized the opportunity with both hands, and now they are queuing round the block to invest in Saudi desalination projects

* The company’s achievements in 2005 would be impressive for an established company, but for a newcomer to the industry, they are nothing short of astounding

And why not? More deals than delivery in 2005

Befesa CTA
What is it? The environmental services division of Abengoa, the Spanish engineering group

What has it done? Befesa has come from nowhere to chalk up the largest backlog in SWRO desalination in one year, with three deals in Algeria (as part of the Geida consortium) and one in India

Why is it shortlisted?
* Its combination of ruthless attention to price and top class engineering has made it the most feared competitor in large-scale RO during 2005

* It has pulled off stunning deals in difficult markets (India and Algeria)

And why not? More deals than delivery in 2005

Inima
What is it? Inima is the water and environmental services arm of Spanish construction group, OHL. Despite the challenge from Befesa, it is the most international of the Spanish desalination companies

What has it done? In the past year it has won two contracts in Algeria with Aqualia, started construction on plants in the US and Mexico, and started operating the plant at Carboneras in Spain

Why is it shortlisted?
* In 2005, Inima has shown it can meet the challenges of new desalination markets, whether it is the US permitting process in Dighton, Massachusetts, Mexico’s sclerotic municipal procurement system at Los Cabos, or political risk in Algeria

* It has a breadth of achievement in 2005 unmatched by any other desalination company its size

And why not? 2005 has not been transformational for Inima

Veolia Water Systems
What is it? Veolia’s contracting arm which includes the desalination activities of Sidem, OTV, Enerserve, VWS Metito Arabia, Becox, Entropie and Westgarth

What has it done? Sidem has had a transformational year with orders for two 8MIGD units at Layyah in Sharjah and its victory at Hidd in Bahrain. OTV saw the commissioning of Ashkelon (in which it has a 25% interest), while VWS Metito Arabia had a record year with 33 plants now under construction. Entropie and Westgarth have continued to thrive since their acquisition by VWS last year

Why is it shortlisted?
* VWS brings together big company finance and global presence, and small company teamwork and inspiration. In 2005 it demonstrated how powerful this combination can be at every level of the desalination market

* Sidem deserves special mention for its work in MED. Its successes in 2005 have brought the technology to the stage where it can compete directly with MSF technology for the largest IWPPs, offering major efficiencies in the power to water ratio

And why not? IDE and Weir deserve a lot of the credit

DESALINATION COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2006 - SMALL PLANTS

Aquatech
What is it? US-based industrial desalination specialist which bought the industrial interests of desal veteran Aqua-Chem

What has it done? Key projects this year include completion of the 10,000m3/d RO facility for Aramco’s Rabigh refinery in Saudi Arabia, a 6,000m3/d MED facility for a refinery in Aruba and a zero liquid discharge system for California’s Magnolia power plant (q.v.)

Why is it shortlisted?
* It is the only small-scale desalination company to have first class references in both thermal and membrane desalination and in the Middle East, Caribbean and US markets in 2005

And why not? 2005 was just another year

Corodex Industries
What is it? A Dubai-based desalination company which is part of the Concorde Corodex Group, which includes Eflo International in the UK

What has it done? Corodex specialises in trailer mounted and skid mounted RO units for the Middle East region

Why is it shortlisted?
* It can deliver plants across the region in a matter of days. This responsiveness has enabled it to grow its revenues from $500,000 to $7 million since 2000

* It has delivered plants in difficult markets such as Sudan and Iraq

And why not? What is the challenge?

Harn RO
What is it? A small family run desalination specialist based in Florida

What has it done? The company has specialised in RO systems since 1972

Why is it shortlisted?
l*Continued to stay ahead of the industry for 33 years. Competition has eroded margins as technology has become mainstream but Harn has continued to find a niche where customers pay for quality

And why not? Profitability should be prize enough

Metito
What is it? Founded in 1953, Metito is the most established privately owned desalination company operating in the Middle East region

What has it done? Highlights of 2005 include projects in Hartha & Najibiyah power stations (Iraq), Pelindo ports (Indonesia), Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) and Palm Island (Dubai)

Why is it shortlisted?
* Despite increased competition from US, European, and Far Eastern companies, Metito’s versatility has enabled it to scoop prestige projects in each market sector

* Metito has a strong social and environmental commitment as evidenced by its donation of two mobile desalination units to Tsunami relief in Indonesia, its founder membership of the Emirates Corporate Social Responsibility Network, and its involvement in the Emirates Environmental Group and the United Nations Global Compact Initiative

And why not? How special was 2005?

Osmoflo
What is it? Australia’s leading home-grown desalination company

What has it done? Dominated the Australian industrial desalination sector as a result of its quality design and reliable operation

Why is it shortlisted?
* Its expertise has ensured that desalination has had a strong uptake in Australia

* Due to the vast distances between plants in Australia, Osmoflo’s unique “Plant Connect” software enables remote management of all the membrane plants

And why not? How special was 2005?

Water Engineering & Management Services
What is it? The leading industrial water and wastewater treatment company in Pakistan

What has it done? Founded in 2001, the company won 27 desalination contracts in 2005 from clients such as Coca Cola, ICI Pakistan and a number of textile companies

Why is it shortlisted?
* WEMS has offered industrial customers a local alternative to international desalination system suppliers in Pakistan. This has been beneficial both in terms of price and after sales service

* The company’s very rapid growth has meant that water services cannot be seen as a restriction on industrial development in Pakistan

And why not? It has no impact outside Pakistan

WATER AGENCY OF THE YEAR 2006

Algerian Energy Company (AEC)
What is it? A company held 50:50 by Sonatrach, the national oil and gas company of Algeria, and Sonelgaz, the state gas and electricity distribution and power generation company

What has it done? Developed a number of BOO desalination projects in conjunction with foreign partners. Minority shareholder in project companies including Hamma Water Desalination and Aguas de Skikda.

Why is it shortlisted?
* Driving Algeria’s ambitious private sector desalination programme forward with great enthusiasm and determination in the face of scepticism from international investors and lenders

* Spectacularly revived confidence in the Algerian market following the difficulties experienced in financing the Kahrama power and water project

And why not? Should have started earlier

Ofwat, UK
What is it? The water regulator for England and Wales

What has it done? Seen its PR04 price review go into action in April 2005

Why is it shortlisted?
* Although the review was published in December 2004, it is the response since then that has shown what a brilliant piece of regulation Ofwat has produced. It has seemingly squared the circle by keeping price rises just low enough not to upset consumers, while keeping returns for the water companies just high enough to ensure that investment plans are fundable

* The whole process was carried out with such transparency that share price volatility has been minimal, contributing to the long-term stability of the UK sector

And why not? It is being restructured now

Public Utility Board, Singapore
What is it? The Singapore Public Utility Board is the water utility for Singapore, which now has an additional role of promoting Singapore’s desalination industry overseas

What has it done? PUB is the world market leader in urban water efficiency through its innovative catchment systems, its NEWater reuse initiative, and demand management. In 2005 it inaugurated its SingSpring desalination plant

Why is it shortlisted?
* PUB’s promotion of NEWater and greater water efficiency are an example of best practise from which all public water agencies can learn

* The efficiency with which PUB turned on “third and fourth national taps” – desalination and water reuse – is truly awe inspiring. No other public water agency works like this

And why not? Too cosy with local business?

Texas Water Development Board
What is it? The strategic water agency for Texas

What has it done? Responded to the governor’s initiative to develop seawater and brackish desalination in Texas and put plans into action

Why is it shortlisted?
* The confidence and competence with which the TWDB has executed its desalination plans are a credit to the state

* The TWDB’s even-handed approach to the private sector should set an example to other US water agencies planning to tap non-traditional water sources

And why not? It is still early days – will the plans deliver in the long run?

Water & Electricity Company (WEC)
What is it? A limited liability company owned on a 50:50 basis by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). Off-taker of power and water from Saudi IWPPs

What has it done? Successfully developed and brought Saudi Arabia’s first IWPP to financial close

Why is it shortlisted?
* Worked tirelessly to develop a commercially attractive and bankable power and water purchase agreement for the Shoaiba IWPP following concerns expressed by developers and lenders over the project’s guarantee structure

* Has attracted significant private investment in the project from Saudi Arabia and abroad as well as created future opportunities worth billions of dollars in the Kingdom’s power generation and desalination field

And why not? Too soon to judge

BANK OF THE YEAR 2006

HSBC
What is it? A major player in global investment banking with an experienced and highly-regarded project and export finance team

What has it done? HSBC worked on and closed a number of advisory and debt arranging assignments in 2005

Why is it shortlisted?
* Acted as the Water & Electricity Company’s financial advisor for the Shoaiba IWPP, which forms the template for future IWPP developments in Saudi Arabia. The project achieved financial close in mid-January. Acted as ADWEA’s financial advisor for the Taweelah B IWPP and is acting as financial advisor for the brownfield Fujairah IWPP

* One of 15 mandated lead arranging banks to underwrite the Taweelah B project’s $911 million commercial debt portion

* Financial advisor to the Qatar Electricity & Water Company concerning the extension of its Ras Abu Fontas power and water facility

Japan Bank for International Cooperation
What is it? A financial institution which promotes Japanese exports, imports and economic activities overseas

What has it done? Co-financed the Taweelah B power and desalination project with 15 other banks

Why is it shortlisted?
* Taweelah B is the first IWPP to use funds provided by an export credit agency on a large scale (the JBIC debt portion is $1.2 billion). The size of the loan was an important part of the project’s success

* The loan is the first that JBIC has provided for a large infrastructure project in the UAE on a project finance basis. It is also a first for the bank’s Overseas Investment Loan (OIL) programme in the Middle East

* The project serves as an example for other IWPPs seeking to raise funds from a broad mix of sources at a time when large quantities of debt financing are required in the Middle East

Overseas Private Investment Corporation
What is it? A US government agency which provides political risk insurance and project financing for US companies investing in developing countries

What has it done? Providing a $200 million loan for the 200,000m3/d Hamma seawater RO desalination project in Algeria

Why is it shortlisted?
* OPIC’s first significant deal in the water sector and its first major financing in Algeria

* Took the bold step of supporting the Hamma project at a time when other international banks were reluctant to finance Algerian deals

* Its inventive approach to structuring a deal established a template for future projects in AEC’s desalination programme. Local banks have been able to derive comfort from the structure enabling them to finance other projects. Without OPIC’s work at Hamma this might not have been possible

Riyad Bank
What is it? One of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East acknowledged in the area of corporate banking and finance for the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors

What has it done? Joint financial advisor and mandated lead arranger of the Shoaiba IWPP debt financing

Why is it shortlisted?
* One of 23 mandated lead arranging banks (and one of five core MLAs) to underwrite the $947 million Shoaiba commercial debt portion. Also committed to a $210 million Islamic tranche

* Riyad Bank’s first major private water financing

* Gained considerable recognition among its peers for driving the Shoaiba project forward in its role as local financial advisor and MLA. The transaction was oversubscribed with several international banks participating for the first time in a project finance deal in Saudi Arabia

Standard Chartered Bank
What is it? A leading international commercial bank which played a significant role in the Taweelah B project financing

What has it done? In 2005, SCB fully established its credentials in the Middle East power and water market, building on its acquisition of ANZ Investment Bank’s project finance business

Why is it shortlisted?
* Acted as structuring bank, mandated lead arranger and underwriter, hedge provider, JBIC coordinator, joint documentation bank, joint book runner, insurance bank, global facility agent, and offshore account bank for the Taweelah B deal

* One of the mandated lead arrangers of the project financing facility for Bahrain’s Hidd IWPP

* Ongoing advisory mandates in the Middle East including the Shoaiba IWPP, where the bank is financial advisor to the successful consortium of ACWA Power, Malakoff and Tenaga Nasional Berhad

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR 2006

Berwin Leighton Paisner
What is it? A London-based firm with 145 partners and 500 lawyers. BLP has acted for clients on a range of PFI and PPP projects

What has it done? In 2005, BLP advised on some of the highest profile water transactions in the Middle East and UK

Why is it shortlisted?
* Involved in many of the large Middle Eastern water projects of 2005, including: Barka 2 (advising the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company); Fujairah IWPP (Suez Energy Middle East); Abu
Dhabi O&M contract (Veolia); Muscat wastewater operations contract (Veolia); Marafiq IWPP (Suez and Gulf Investment Corporation); and Shoaiba IWPP (Suez)

* Represented most of the major UK water companies in one capacity or another, including: Thames Water; Veolia Water UK; and Southern Water

* Gained significant clients in the form of Veolia; Mitsubishi; and the Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation

Clifford Chance
What is it? A magic circle law firm with offices in 19 countries.

What has it done? Advised the Water & Electricity Company (WEC) on the development and tender of the Shoaiba and Shuqaiq IWPPs

Why is it shortlisted?
* Advising WEC on its IWPP programme, including bringing the Shoaiba project to financial close

* Represented the arrangers (Bank Handlowy w Warszawie and Bank Kasa Polska Opieki) and EBRD on the €150 million revenue bond issued by the Bydgoszcz municipal water company, MwiK

* Advised the sponsors in connection with the project finance and development of the Ras Laffan B IWPP

Jun He Law Offices
What is it? One of the most established PRC-based law firms with six offices, including one in New York

What has it done? Advised clients including Hyflux, Aqualia and the Asian Development Bank on Chinese water deals

Why is it shortlisted?
* Represented Hyflux on two major desalination projects in China

* Represented Aqualia of Spain on the acquisition and development of two major WwTPs in China

* Represented Beijing Capital in a number of acquisitions in the water industry

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
What is it? An international law firm with a large and experienced project finance team

What has it done? Acted for clients on two landmark Middle East project finance transactions (Shoaiba and Hamma)

Why is it shortlisted?
* Represented all of the lenders in the financing of the $2.5 billion Shoaiba IWPP which combines commercial bank, export credit agency (Euler Hermes and Korea Exim Bank) and Islamic funding arrangements

* Represented the preferred bidder consortium (International Power, Suez Energy Middle East and Sumitomo Corporation) on the Hidd IWPP in Bahrain

* Acted on behalf of Hamma Water Desalination Company in negotiating, structuring and closing the deal for the 200,000m3/d Hamma RO desalination facility

Pinsent Masons
What is it? An international law firm noted for its expertise in construction and project management

What has it done? Advised on water deals in the UK, Hong Kong and China

Why is it shortlisted?
* Completed legal documentation for United Utilities’ £2 billion procurement programme for the AMP4 period

* Acted for a Korean conglomerate in connection with the procurement, on a BOO basis, of three WwTPs in Hangzhou, China

* Advised Saur International on transactions in the Middle East including the Abu Dhabi water and electricity O&M contract and the Muscat wastewater operations contract

Trowers & Hamlins
What is it? An international law firm based in London with offices in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Cairo, Dubai and Oman. It has been retained as counsel on some of the most prominent power and water transactions in the Middle East

What has it done? Enhanced its track record of advising on the first IPP/IWPP in a jurisdiction

Why is it shortlisted?
* Advised the Saudi/Malaysian consortium of ACWA Power, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Khazanah and Malakoff on the Shoaiba IWPP

* The constrictions of working within Saudi Arabia’s Shari’a Law and potential difficulties with enforceability issues distinguished Shoaiba from other regional IPPs/IWPPs. Trowers & Hamlins created a legal template that can be applied to future Saudi IWPPs

* Devoted significant resources to the Shoaiba transaction (12 lawyers including partners)