Global Water Intelligence Magazine


Vol 16, Issue 3 (March 2015)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

French accents
  • Suez Environnement decided not to adopt a new name when it announced its new brand architecture on 12 March. It is, however, getting rid of a lot of old ones, including...
  • The new logo came on the heels of the group’s annual results, which were not so well received by the market. Sluggish growth weakened margins at the waste business, which upset investors who marked down the price of shares by...
  • Veolia’s full-year results saw the company return to profit at the net income level. The cost-cutting programme seems to have more than made up for the rather sluggish growth in the core businesses. 5% shareholder Groupama took advantage...
  • The two French companies were not alone in finding 2014 a tough year for sales growth. Pentair and Xylem reported topline growth of 0.6% and 2.1%, respectively, while Acciona Agua saw a 17% drop in sales. Hyflux probably had the greatest difficulties, with revenues falling by...
  • Pipe services company Aegion managed to buck the low growth trend, reporting a 22% increase in revenues to $1.3 billion. Looking forward, however, the growth picture is less strong, with the increased backlog from its...
Pick up the PPPieces
  • A shock new ruling by the Indonesian Constitutional Court has revoked the 2004 Water Resources Law. This forms the legal basis for decentralisation and private sector participation in the country’s water sector...
  • Fortunately, Vietnam seems to be travelling in the opposite direction. Its Ministry of Planning and Investment has published its long-awaited ‘Decree on Public-Private Partnership Investment Form’, which should start to loosen the bottleneck of water and wastewater projects awaiting investment.
  • Catalunya’s anti-fraud investigator has criticised the way Agbar obtained its hugely profitable 35-year concession for metropolitan Barcelona’s integral water services in 2013, without the formality of an open tender...
  • Brazil looks set to open up as a major desalination market. The governor of Rio de Janeiro has been inquiring about the possibility of building a desalination plant capable of serving 1 million people. Sabesp, the utility serving São Paulo, is also said to be considering...
  • Meanwhile, the Chilean government’s new desalination and wastewater plan, which had been scheduled for publication in January, has been delayed by a debate over how...
  • Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries has launched a call for expressions of interest in the first of two combined seawater desalination and irrigation BOT (build-operate-transfer) projects...
  • Jordan and Israel have reached agreement on a water-sharing deal, but it is likely to be another five years before the 192,000m³/d desalination plant proposed for Aqaba becomes a reality...
  • Qatar’s national water and electricity offtaker has awarded a contract to build the country’s first major membrane desalination facility. The Qatar Electricity & Water Company will own and operate the 36MIGD (163,656m³/d) Ras Abu Fontas A3 facility, and has lined up...
American tourists
  • Valoriza Agua, the water arm of Spanish construction group Sacyr, is looking to invest up to $150 million over the next five years as it seeks to build an organic water business from scratch in the United States...
  • Canada’s Stantec is also looking for growth in the US. The design firm spent $187 million on US acquisitions in 2014, and is now looking to find its way into the design-build and PPP market for growth.
  • Evoqua, formerly Siemens Water, is moving back into growth mode. It is doubling the capacity of its Tewksbury, Massachusetts, production facility to keep up with global demand for its Ionpure continuous electrodeionisation (CEDI) modules...
  • Evoqua’s former CEO Lukas Loeff ler is also moving back into growth mode. He has been appointed president of Schneider Electric’s water and wastewater division.
China plates
  • China’s state-owned EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) giants have become an unstoppable force in the African water sector. China Geo-Engineering Corporation finished an 80,000m³/d water treatment plant supplying...
  • Back home, Beijing Water Business Doctor, a Shenzhen-listed industrial water and wastewater specialist, won a novel bundled concession contract worth RMB5.6 billion ($890 million) earlier this month...

Project Tracker

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

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Project Tracker Database
(Subscription Requried)
Portland O&M... United States 15 Oct 18 Representative... Utility
Forsyth O&M ... United States 15 Oct 18 Proposals are ... Utility
Mallorca bul... Spain 15 Oct 18 Bids are due i... WTP
Denia-Ondara... Spain 15 Oct 18 On 5th October... WWTP
Tanauan join... Philippines 15 Oct 18 Manila Water, ... Utility


Christopher gasson Steel, smiles, and deals

Christopher Gasson asks how we can bring more private finance into the water sector without...

Ian elkins 9 Desal, the great mediator

Ian Elkins asks whether Latin America is ready to embrace desalination.

David lloyd owen David Lloyd Owen - Water reuse and resource recovery

Water reuse and resource recovery – where there’s muck there’s brass

Willy yeo A breath of fresh air in Beijing

Chinese politicians are changing tack on the environment, says Willy Yeo.

Debra coy Hello, is there anybody in there?

Ratepayers need some education on the cost of water, but California’s drought conditions...

Tom scotney Subsidies give food for thought

The switch to importing food supplies in place of water-intensive domestic production in Saudi...

News & Features

China poised for the next step in Africa

China’s state-owned EPC giants have secured a dominant position in the African water...

Thai BOT brings WOG to the top table

Singapore-based WOG Group is expanding its BOT portfolio in a bid to secure stable income in...

Surprise setback for PPPs in Indonesia

A court decision is threatening to disrupt the rollout of water PPPs in Indonesia. Developers are...

Rebranded Suez aims for US industries

Results season in Paris brought a new brand and a new plan for Suez Environnement. Where can it...

IFC to boost its water equity position

An enviable track record means the International Finance Corporation is hungry for more corporate...

Desal down on the farm in Morocco

A long-awaited agricultural desalination/irrigation scheme is finally going ahead. Can the...

ERI looking to replace hype with hope

The head of the troubled energy recovery company is looking to shore up investor confidence after...

GWI Water Index

Can water stocks beat the dead cat bounce?

The share prices of a number of troubled water companies came off recent lows this month. It remains to be seen how sustainable the new levels are.

Water on the markets this month:

GWI IndexValueChangeDate
Global Water154.45-0.30%10 Sep
Asian Water93.11-5.00%10 Sep
EMEA Water89.44-2.11%10 Sep
Americas Water259.762.41%10 Sep

Market Profile

A magical history tour for water PPPs

David Lloyd Owen crunches the numbers in Global Water Intelligence’s new database of global water PPP contracts.

Chart of the month

Capex forecast for water technologies in upstream oil and gas to 2020

This month’s chart comes from our recently published Industrial Water Technology Markets 2015 report.

Cotm 3


Valoriza hits the ground running in the US

The Spanish water contractor is looking to make a big push into the US desalination market. It is late to the party.

Funding debate stalls Chilean desal roll-out

Plans to roll out a series of municipal desalination plants in Chile have been stalled by a debate over how they are to be paid for. Will private finance play a role?

Stantec sets its sights south of the border

Canadian engineering firm Stantec went on the acquisition warpath last year, bumping up its US profile with nearly $200m in acquisitions. The design-only company aims to use its new profile to win more complex water contracts.

Brazil gets ready to embrace desal and reuse

The drought in south-eastern Brazil has finally forced the authorities to consider alternative supply strategies. Is it too little, too late?

Making the most of Lava Jato

The Brazilian corruption scandal could bode well for the water sector.

ERI head aiming to replace hype with hope

The energy recovery specialist is trying to shore up investor confidence after another disappointing set of results. Interim chief Joel Gay says ERI will be trimming its sails and taking a more focused approach to marketing.

Asia pacific

Chinese private players pioneer new PPPs

An industrial specialist looking for new markets is driving a wider trend towards city-wide full service concessions.

China set for the next step in African water

China’s state-owned EPC giants have secured a dominant share of the African water market after a decade of canny manoeuvring. Moving into asset ownership could be the next move for the most successful contractors.

Thai BOT success sees WOG come of age

With its first municipal seawater desalination reference, industrial water specialist WOG Group has gained a place in the league of Asian water developers. Securing growth funding is the next step as it moves towards a listing.

Surprise setback for Indonesian PPP rollout

Indonesia’s water sector has been rocked by a surprise court decision revoking the law permitting PSP. Developers are looking for ways to ride out the storm by turning to alternative clients. GWI’s Sebastian Lennox investigates.

Moya raises cash for B2B growth

The listed project developer has a new backer for its push into Indonesia.

Revamped Vietnam PPP decree divides donors

The Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam has finally released its new PPP Decree. The final document is a huge step forward for transparent competitive tendering, but the Japanese and Koreans are not convinced.

Australia acts against asbestos

Rehabilitating Australia’s asbestos cement pipe network is a mammoth task. GWI Australia editor Max Borchardt investigates the costs.


VWT boost helps Veolia exceed expectations

The French water and waste company bounced back into profit in 2014, largely thanks to cost-cutting. Going forward, the company aims to be less municipal and less French.

Suez spells out international growth strategy

Industrial water work, advanced solutions, international expansion and further development of resource recovery contracts are outlined as the key to success, after a year of unimpressive top-line growth at the company.

Rebranded Suez aims for US industrial ops

With the disappearance of the United Water brand among others, Suez is ready to try a new tack in North America by focusing on industrial opportunitites. Despite the achievements of Degrémont, it needs an EPC partner.

Irish water tech companies go global

The momentum behind Irish water start-ups is gathering steam. What are the commercialisation challenges?

Pushing the envelope on low-temperature AD

The Irish university spin-out has ambitious sales targets for its energy-saving technology. It remains a black box.

OxyMem comes up for air

The Irish company’s membrane-based aeration system needs capital to grow.

Abengoa ramps up its water development plans

Abengoa Water does not need the support of the group’s new project finance vehicle as it grows into new markets.

UK water rails against competition

Suggestions that Ofwat is still pursuing upstream competition in the UK water sector have been met with tangible resistance. By some.

Building resilience comes from within

Anglian Water’s CEO believes that not all highly leveraged water companies were born equal, and that a flexible approach to investment goes a long way.

Middle East and Africa

Gaza SWRO aims for 2015 completion date

Work has finally started on Gaza’s largest SWRO plant to date, in a quick-fix bid to stem the water crisis in the territory. The scale of the problems there means that more plants will be needed as soon as possible.

Red-Dead link still far off, despite agreement

The signing of a long-awaited water sharing deal between Israel and Jordan has cleared the way for procurement of a massive desalination project at Aqaba. Technical and financial issues mean a huge array of hurdles remain.

QEWC assembles team for first Qatari SWRO

The national power and water company has been given the go-ahead to build the country’s first membrane desal facility. The switch to SWRO has shaken up the desalination contractor and subcontractor market.

You say “tomato”, and I say “desal”

A long-promised desalination plant and irrigation scheme for Moroccan fruit farmers is finally moving forward. Will the government be forced to act as the buyer of last resort in order to make it bankable?

News in brief

Asia Water In Brief

Maynilad is demanding compensation from the Philippine government totalling PHP3.44 billion ($77.7 million) to account for revenues lost as a result of its rate rebasing dispute.

Europe Water In Brief

Biwater Holdings slumped to a net loss of £6.2 million on revenues of £53.5 million (down 14.9%) in the year ended 31 March 2014, according to figures released earlier this month.

Americas Water In Brief

California’s Department of Water Resources raised its 2015 State Water Project allocation from 15% to 20% earlier this month, despite Sierra snowpack levels remaining at just 16% of the 1st April average.

Middle East Water In Brief

Israeli-owned project developer and investor Kardan NV has completed the sale of 75% of its Chinese subsidiary Kardan Water International to China’s Gezhouba Group (CGGC).