In Brief - Europe
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* The French majors continue to make inroads at home, with Veolia subsidiary OTV announcing that it has been awarded two major design-build contracts by SIAAP, the Paris wastewater authority.
As leader of the consortium for both projects, Veolia Water will bring the 1.7 million m3/d Seine Aval WWTP at Achères into compliance with the Urban Wastewater Directive, and will also execute the second section of the Seine Grésillons WWTP in Triel sur Seine, tripling the plant’s capacity. The turnover for the two contracts is worth a total of €224.1 million for Veolia.
* Saur, meanwhile, has replaced Lyonnaise des Eaux as the incumbent water supplier serving 36 communities in the Rhône Aygues Ouvèze region, famous for its wines. The ten-year deal is worth €40 million.
* The activities of Sorical, a PPP operator in Italy’s southern region of Calabria, are being investigated by a public prosecutor. Sorical allegedly attempted to disguise maintenance work as investment, and illegally charged users for it. Inappropriate contract awards were also allegedly made.
* S&P has lowered its long-term corporate credit rating on RWE from ‘A+’ to ‘A’, reflecting the expected weakening in RWE’s financial profile as a result of its large investment programme.
* Ofwat has began a consultation into plans by Independent Water Networks Limited (IWN) to provide water services to a third new development in Northamptonshire, England. The regulator is proposing to grant an inset appointment to IWN, which will allow it to supply water to a development of 162 homes. The site is in Anglian Water’s area of appointment, and if it gets the go-ahead, IWN is proposing to charge its customers 5% less per cubic metre of water supplied than Anglian Water would charge. Anglian Water itself will provide the sewerage service. Ofwat has previously granted IWN inset appointments for two developments in Corby, in the same county.
* The German city of Stendal has agreed to sell a further 25% of Stadtwerke Stendal to Gelsenwasser, reportedly for around €7 million. Gelsenwasser already owns 12.45% of the stock, having bought it from E.ON Avacon last year.