NEWS IN BRIEF – EUROPE
- From: Vol 7, Issue 3 (March 2006)
- Category: Brief
- Region: Europe
- Country: Denmark, Germany and United Kingdom
- Related Companies: Christ Water Technology, KF Service GmbH, Sachsen Wasser, Setec, Severn Trent Water and Veolia
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* UK water provider, Severn Trent will refund the £7 million overcharged to customers.
The move follows the publishing of Ofwat’s interim report investigating allegations made by a Severn Trent whistleblower. Ofwat, the UK regulator, concluded that Severn Trent had provided regulatory data that was either deliberately miscalculated or poorly supported. This led to unfairly high price limits, which would have resulted in customers paying an additional £42 million by 2009-10. Ofwat director general Philip Fletcher (who will become chairman of the new Water Services Regulation Authority in April) said its findings were serious enough to warrant a further reduction in the company’s price limits as a penalty and alerted the Serious Fraud Office. The scale of such a reduction will not be known until the conclusion of the SFO Investigation, Fletcher added.
* Veolia Water has made a breakthrough of sorts in Denmark. It has signed an eight-year contract to provide wastewater services for the town of Allerød (population 23,000), the first such contract in Denmark. Over in Poland, it pulled off an even smaller deal: a 10-year water management contract serving 10,000 people in the city of Wozniky in Upper Silesia.
* Stadtwerke Leipzig’s Sachsen Wasser subsidiary has won a consultancy contract to advise six water companies in Bosnia- Herzegovina financed by German development bank KfW. Its partners in the project are Austrian company Setec and local institute Ispa (Institut Sarajevo). It will advise municipal water and wastewater enterprises in the Una-Sana region on improving operations, reducing water losses, introducing cost-covering tariffs and billing for water and wastewater.
* Christ Water Technologies, the Swiss industrial water treatment specialist, has bought 51% of KF Service GmbH, a German company specialising in treatment processes such as pasteurisation and UHT for the food and beverage industry. Christ CEO Karl Michael Millauer said: “With the takeover of KF we fill the last strategically important gap to become a full liner in the business, creating a competitive edge of Christ in a strongly growing food and beverage market.” Christ demerged from Austrian water treatment group BWT in November 2005, and its shares are quoted on the Vienna Stock Exchange.