Global Water Intelligence Magazine

Jun 18 cover

Vol 19, Issue 6 (June 2018)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

Saur losers
  • The auction for French private water player Saur is moving through to its second round. Insiders suggest that no trade bidders have made it through, while Antin Infrastructure...
  • Veolia, meanwhile, is buddying up to Russia’s largest private water operator, Rosvodokanal. RVK’s current owner Alfa Group has indicated that...
Up for sale
  • While the auction for specialty chemicals company Italmatch has moved into a second round, one of its direct competitors is also preparing to...
  • Other sales rumoured to be in the pipeline include Belgian wastewater and air purification specialist Waterleau and water softener supplier Culligan...
  • Singapore’s Hyflux has sought protection from its creditors after it became clear that there was insufficient power demand in the city-state to justify...
  • Hyflux would still be a good buy for...


Poileataigs translated
  • Three UK water companies have bowed to political pressure and moved to close financing subsidiaries based in the Cayman Islands. Although the move will...
  • The English water companies have also begun to report their full-year results – and there is clear evidence that performance- based fines imposed by...
  • As Argentina negotiates its $50 billion IMF bail-out, President Mauricio Macri moved to veto a water tariff cut proposed by...
  • Egypt’s water minister has been promoted to prime minister, and moved quickly to introduce...
  • Spain’s new socialist minority government is under pressure from the irrigation lobby to build more desalination plants. Meanwhile, the European Commission is proposing...
  • Meanwhile, President Trump’s proposals for tariffs on steel and aluminium are creating difficulties for...
  • IDE Technologies has set itself on a collision course with Israel’s anti-trust regulators after committing to...
  • Almar Water, the project developer backed by Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel Group, has signed an MoU for a $500 million solar-powered...
  • Japanese trading house Marubeni is getting serious about water operations. Previously, the company has largely acted as a...
  • Spanish water operator and project developer Aqualia has set out its plans for growth in anticipation of the sale of a 49% stake in...
Membrane distillation comes back from the dead

After the highly acrimonious liquidation of his previous company in 2016, membrane distillation pioneer Wolfgang Heinzl returned triumphantly this month to the Achema tradeshow in Frankfurt with a 144m3 /d...

Project Tracker

Project Tracker

Charting the progress of over 900 Desal, Reuse and PPP water projects in the international water industry.

Download a sample

Latest Tracker Updates

Project Tracker Database
(Subscription Requried)
Post Falls W... United States 13 Jul 18 Statements of ... Reuse
Kay Bailey H... United States 13 Jul 18 At its meeting... Desal
El Paso DPR, TX United States 13 Jul 18 At its meeting... Reuse
Vicksburg wa... United States 13 Jul 18 ESG Operations... Utility
Commerce ind... United States 13 Jul 18 ESG Operations... Utility

What's making the news in global water projects this month

Project tracker

Mauritania eyes seawater desal; Fayoum gears up for wastewater rehab; Central San refinery project moves ahead; Rhode Island legislation could stimulate concessions; Bogotá wastewater timetable clarified; Singapore to start work on Tuas WRP; all the latest project news from around the...


GWI Water Index

Asian water stocks get Trumped

Mainland-listed Chinese stocks got hammered this month after the Trump administration confirmed plans to impose trade tariffs on Chinese exports to the US.

Water on the markets this month:

GWI IndexValueChangeDate
Global Water154.54-3.56%10 Jun
Asian Water104.62-6.53%10 Jun
EMEA Water90.98-3.01%10 Jun
Americas Water245.89-2.12%10 Jun

The List

What are water utility CEOs really worth?

This month’s list shows the reported salaries of selected water utility leaders, ranked by their pay per population served. It suggests that the CEOs of small investor-owned utilities in the US do particularly well compared to the size of their customer base.


Christopher gasson Solutions and vegetarians

Christopher Gasson explains the trends in the M&A market.

Chart of the month

Volatility in the desal market

This month’s chart comes from the latest DesalData subscribers’ webinar.

Chart of the month


Water Leaders

Introducing the Leading Utilities of the World

Last month the Global Water Leaders’ Group launched a new initiative to highlight the achievements of the top performing utilities in the world. It has ambitions to change the way the water industry works.

Being the best in the world is not our job

Singapore PUB’s chief executive Peter Ng has another goal in mind: being the best for Singapore. It means pursuing impossible performance targets, pushing the boundaries of technology, and still worrying about how to win the trust of customers.




Chief Technology Officer

User Perspectives

ABP grabs the bull by its horns with resource recovery drive

Irish beef manufacturer ABP Food Group is turning its own waste into an asset by delving more into the circular economy. GWI discovers how it derives value from its nutrient-rich wastewater and what’s next for the food giant. Read more

Smart Water Watch

Keeping heads above water with satellite image analysis

Satellite image analysis companies such as Utilis and Satelytics are offering utilities a new perspective on their networks. Can this small step offer utilities new insights or is it a giant leap too far? Read more

CTO Outlook

Taking the P in the circular economy

Wabag’s experience as an EPC contractor as well as a solid track record of in-house technology development has put it at the vanguard of innovation. CTO Kim Soerensen shares how Wabag is responding to the key trends of water recycling and more advanced treatment. Read more

See the latest technology updates on the Chief Technology Officer Homepage...


Trump’s trade tariffs gamble leaves US water sector reeling

Price volatility and supply constraints resulting from US import tariffs are impacting contractors and manufacturers reliant on steel and aluminium for water projects.

Deal-making activity steps up a gear as rival bidder emerges for SJW assets

A fifth player could be about to join the merger quadrille in the US regulated water sector, after an unnamed party emerged as a second potential suitor for NYSE-listed San Jose Water. What does the level of deal-making activity say about the wider trends in the market?

New accounting guidance could facilitate large-scale green infrastructure in the US

Proponents argue that new guidance for a decade-old accounting standard could encourage water utilities to capitalise green stormwater infrastructure projects. It will take a wider shift in mindset for it to gain meaningful traction.

Lean water resources act disappoints

With the federal infrastructure plan all but on hold until after the mid-term elections, the 2018 Water Resources Development Act falls short of industry expectations.

ENAPAC lines up new development partners

Almar Water has signed an MoU to co-develop a $500 million mining desal project in Chile. Some of the offtakers also want equity.

Auditing Argentina’s difficult month

What impact will the latest $50 billion IMF bailout have on Argentina’s PPP plans?

Americas in brief

Layne Christensen shareholders voted in favour of the merger with Granite Construction on 13 June. The deal was expected to close just as GWI went to press, prefiguring the delisting of Layne shares from Nasdaq.

Asia pacific

Marubeni seeks to bolster its water operating credentials

The Japanese trading house is looking to convert its three existing concession businesses into regional hubs, and boost the transfer of technical know-how across the globe.

Hyflux reaches breaking point as it files for court protection from its creditors

As its creditors close in, orders fall away, and existing plants are placed under new scrutiny, erstwhile water industry darling Hyflux has turned to the High Court of Singapore to buy it some more time. It is not just Olivia Lum’s legacy that hangs in the balance.

Freestyle Technology reviews its fundraising options after Korean successes

As Australia’s Freestyle Technology finds traction deploying its IoT-enabled smart water metering platforms in South Korea, it is gearing up to expand elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, writes Carole Ann Goldsmith.

Asia Pacific in brief

Vietnam has replaced its 2015 decree on PPPs with a new edict, increasing the minimum private investment to 20% of the equity in a PPP project, and removing the process for securing ‘investment certificates’.

Willy yeo Debt and destiny

GWI’s Willy Yeo explores the story of Hyflux’s rise and fall, and assesses its future prospects.


Aqualia gears up for growth as FCC returns to strength

The Spanish construction group’s water arm has been its saviour. Newly recapitalised, Aqualia is eyeing growth on a number of fronts, general manager Félix Parra tells GWI.

ODI penalties hit home for UK water groups

Higher financing costs and performance penalties have taken the edge off the UK results season so far. Who came off worst?

Moody’s warns over regulatory divergence

Ofwat’s suggestion that UK water companies share financial outperformance with customers could weaken the sector’s credit quality.

UK water sector severs its ties with the Cayman Islands

The removal of Cayman Islands financing vehicles from UK water company structures looks like a colossal waste of billpayers’ cash.

Charting the future of desalination under Spain’s new government

A new minority Spanish government with a solid track record in desalination has just been sworn in. How will this translate into desalination opportunities?

ATLL concession finally terminated

The formal termination of the ATLL bulk water concession this month heralds the end of Acciona’s involvement. The company may yet seek compensation.

European Commission to overhaul reuse regulations

The EC believes it will take a capital outlay of just €700 million to stimulate a six-fold increase in the volume of urban wastewater reused for agricultural irrigation in the EU. Who will pick up the bill for compliance with its newly proposed regulation?

Veolia’s alternative route into Russian water

A collaboration with a sovereign wealth fund has given the French company a fresh entry point into the Russian water market.

David lloyd owen Flushing out the other 82%

David Lloyd Owen looks at ways to incentivise developing economies to move beyond flood irrigation.

Europe in brief

Johnson Matthey revealed this month that it has taken an £11 million goodwill impairment hit relating to its water technologies business, in order to reflect lower growth assumptions.

Middle East and Africa

New prime minister oversees Egyptian sustainability drive

As the Egyptian economy improves, life has returned to the water and wastewater project markets. A new round of tariff rises is aimed at bolstering the balance sheets of utilities.

Political difficulties put Jordan’s water sector in trouble

The collapse of the country’s government at a key time has disrupted projects, and could block attempts to reform water finances.

Israel faces decision over IDE desal dominance

As the country readies itself for another wave of desalination procurement, the market dominance of developer IDE Technologies has come under the spotlight. Regulators will have to decide whether to approve its recent takeover of the country’s largest plant.

Qatari water lags in a year of crisis

The country has held up to financial pressure, but water projects have lagged behind.

Tom scotney Cooperation is the goal

As regional rivals take to the pitch in Russia, Tom Scotney says calm will be needed to make the Middle East’s water dreams a reality.

Middle East in brief

Emirates Sembcorp Water and Power, the owner of the 600,000m3/d & 893MW Fujairah F1 power and water plant in the UAE, is looking to retrofit the 284,000m3/d thermal desalination portion of the facility.

New prime minister oversees Egyptian sustainability drive

As the Egyptian economy improves, life has returned to the water and wastewater project markets. A new round of tariff rises is aimed at bolstering the balance sheets of utilities.