Global Water Intelligence Magazine

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Vol 17, Issue 11 (November 2016)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

On the block
  • General Electric has taken on Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to advise it on the sale of GE Water & Process Technologies, the multi-billion dollar division it forged out of a series of high-profile acquisitions between 1999 and 2006. GE Water is one of the most attractive water assets to come onto the market in years...
  • With annual EBITDA in the $250-300 million range, the deal could end up carrying a price tag of $...
  • One of the possible buyers is private equity house Advent International, which raised a $13 billion fund in March of this year...
  • A little over four years ago, Culligan was on the verge of bankruptcy. It was over-levered, lacked a coherent strategy, and its junk-rated debt was trading at mere cents on the dollar. The subsequent takeover by Centerbridge Partners and the appointment of Scott Clawson as CEO heralded the return of the company to its former glory...
  • The Japanese owners of Australian private water operator Trility have put the company up for sale, tapping Morgan Stanley to lead the process. Since the Mitsubishi-led consortium bought the company from United Utilities for A$225 million (US$200 million) in 2010, the business has struggled...
  • An increasing number of foreign investors in the regulated UK water market are looking looking to exit the sector as political and regulatory concerns threaten to jeopardise valuations. As Macquarie struggles to offload its 26% stake in Thames Water, Suez confirmed earlier this month that it will sell down its remaining 30% stake in...
In the pipeline
  • Financial close was reached earlier this month on the $927 million Vista Ridge pipeline project, which will supply water to the City of San Antonio in Texas. Although a change of majority equity partner had threatened to knock things offkilter, SMBC rallied a group of nine lenders behind an $...
  • Vietnam’s privatisation process is cruising ahead, with the water utility in the tourist city of Hue due to launch...
Car wash free
  • Of the water properties which have changed hands over the past month, the water concessions business of troubled Brazilian company Odebrecht is one of the most intriguing. After Grupo Galvão failed repeatedly to offload its OAS concessions business earlier this year, one of the keys was always going to be to ensure that Odebrecht Ambiental was free from any hint of the Lava Jato corruption scandal...
Running to stand still
  • Veolia has won a €160 million 15-year lease contract to serve 700,000 water and wastewater customers in Armenia. The deal extends the company’s reach beyond the capital Yerevan...
  • The company is under pressure to grow its revenue base, and saw its stock plummet earlier this month after revising full-year revenue guidance to stable, versus a prior expectation that it would end 2016 with higher revenues than in 2015...
  • The refusal of private water operators in the Czech Republic to renegotiate the terms of existing concessions in order to facilitate the flow of EU funding to municipalities has left a bitter taste in the mouths of some mayors, who view the de facto flow of profits out of the country as...
Recycling capital
  • Yunnan Water, a project developer owned by a Chinese provincial government, appears to have fought tooth and nail to secure Hyflux and Mitsui’s joint Chinese water asset portfolio, against aggressive competitors owned by richer provinces. Hyflux was rewarded with $136.5 million for its...
  • Spanish contractor Tedagua is also looking to recycle the capital it has tied up in its portfolio of BOT projects, CEO Miguel Ángel Fernández tells GWI this month. From humble beginnings (revenues were a mere €2 million back in 2005, versus...
  • Former Veolia Water CEO Jean-Michel Herrewyn has launched a new business venture, fWE, with the objective of developing water projects on behalf of infrastructure funds. It plans to develop industrial water projects in emerging economies with the support of the International Finance Corporation...
Desal developments
  • The Saline Water Conversion Corporation – the Saudi state-owned body that is also the world’s largest desalination company – has seen a month of feverish activity. First up was the surprise appointment of...
  • Oman is also preparing for the appointment of a new desal top man, with the arrival of a fresh CEO for the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company expected...

Project Tracker

Project Tracker

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

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Latest Tracker Updates

Project Tracker Database
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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
Winchendon W... United States 15 Oct 18 A mandatory pr... Utility

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

Project tracker

Actionable Asian desal in India, HK and Singapore; SWCC super-sizes desal agenda; Vietnam’s big plans; Florida embraces reuse; Atlantic City gambles with its future; California’s marginal water cost comes down; Chile’s latest pipe dream; all the latest project news from around...


GWI Water Index

Europe drags GWI Index down

A change in full-year outlook from Veolia and Kemira sent the European part of our index to its lowest point since Jan 2015. Can a strong UK results season reverse the losses?

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

The List

The top 10 potential buyers of GE Water

It is likely that more than 200 companies will apply for the sale prospectus for GE Water. Which one will get lucky?


Christopher gasson IoT changes everything

Christopher Gasson explains why innovation has gone from niche to mainstream, both within the industry and in Global Water Intelligence.

Chart of the month

Utility vs. discretionary spending

This month’s chart comes from some work the Global Water Leaders Group has been doing on access to water and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Chart of the month nov 2016


Water Leaders

A blueprint for creating the circular utility

Water utilities too often have to balance their environmental commitments with financial realities. Queensland Urban Utilities CEO Louise Dudley tells GWI’s Samantha Yates how the body is marrying financial self-sufficiency with investment in green infrastructure.


Chief Technology Officer

User Perspectives

Yuengling taps into resource reuse potential
with anaerobic treatment plants

America’s oldest brewer has turned its wastewater into an asset by recovering nutrients and energy from its streams. GWI discovers what changes have been made and where the company is headed next.

Smart Water Watch

What is happening in the water quality monitoring market?

Growing public concerns about water quality and decreasing hardware costs have been driving up demand for real-time monitoring solutions. GWI explores the biggest opportunities.

CTO Outlook

Arabian dreams for new ZLD technologies

Dubai-based developer Metito’s busy innovation department is dedicated to strengthening its technology offering to complement its EPC business. It is making headway in zero liquid discharge solutions and biological treatment but is seeking expertise in sludge.

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


GE set to exit water as capital allocation priorities change

As a stand-alone business unit within the overall GE group structure, the water division was always an easy target for divestiture. What exactly is on the block?

Culligan looks for accelerated international growth under new ownership

With a core market that remains under-penetrated, and a new financial backer with deep pockets, the company is growing faster than it has in decades. CEO Scott Clawson tells GWI why the Culligan Man is still at the heart of the company’s growth strategy after 80 years.

Brookfield’s deal with Odebrecht Ambiental heralds a new era for Brazilian private water

A Canadian asset manager has agreed to buy a majority stake in Brazil’s biggest private water operator. It is the surest sign yet that the country is opening up to foreign capital to fund its water infrastructure deficit.

Chilean pipeline set to cost as much as five desal plants

A proposal to build an overland water pipeline to irrigate 1 million hectares of land in northern Chile has been criticised for its $20 billion price tag. Is it grounded in reality?

PFC contamination rises up the agenda for embattled US municipal water sector

As water utilities in the US weather the lead crisis fallout, many communities are also facing the thorny issue of groundwater supplies contaminated with toxic perfluorinated chemicals. Technology providers are sizing up the opportunities for tailor-made solutions.

Vista Ridge financial close establishes a new precedent for US private water finance

The successful financial close of the ambitious Vista Ridge water pipeline project this month follows a tumultuous period which resulted in a substitution of the main equity partner. The project’s unique risk profile could pave the way for replicable structures in future.

Debra coy Trump and circumstance

Campaign promises painted a mixed picture for infrastructure spending, says Debra Coy. What will the next four years bring?

Asia pacific

Yunnan Water’s $350m deal presages regional expansion

Yunnan Water has agreed to put up $350 million to secure Hyflux and Mitsui’s joint water assets in China. With prospects for organic growth in its home market looking slim, it is betting on Southeast Asia for further expansion.

Origin Water outlines overseas ambitions

Beijing Origin Water is looking at the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia for new projects, assets and technologies.

Tigris Water steps up ‘twining’ strategy with second investment in three months

The Macquarie-backed investment platform has committed $25 million to help a second company in its network become a regional project developer. As more companies chase a limited pool of projects, at what point do conflicts start to emerge?

Suez takes controlling stake in Sino French to drive cross-sector campaign in China

The restructuring of China’s most successful foreign water enterprise is looking to capitalise on the growing trend in China to approach environmental issues in a holistic way, with PPP contracts integrating water, solid waste and environmental remediation on the rise.

Sebastian lennox Off script in Vietnam

The discourse on PPPs in Vietnam is warped, suggests Sebastian Lennox. PPPs are available for those willing to take the risks.

Suez tracks down new growth in Australia

The French company was the most successful foreign player Down Under in the boom years. In leaner times, the opportunities are in the synergies between water and waste, new technology offerings, and broader partnerships with utilities, CEO Mark Venhoek explains.

Alliances find favour in France

Australia’s alliance procurement model is an idea worth spreading.

Willy yeo Cheap questions, cheap answers

All questions surrounding Asia’s water woes come back to the same answer, muses Willy Yeo, but that answer is not a solution.


Tedagua considers capital rotation as portfolio matures

The Spanish company is looking to recycle the equity it holds in existing water projects as part of a broader policy to double revenues within five years.

Private water operators balance expectations as Czech concessions near renewal

Water contracts serving more than two million people are up for renewal in the Czech Republic between now and 2020. How will municipalities’ past relations with the private sector affect their decision to continue outsourcing?

Romanian city to tackle NRW under performance contract

Progressive utility SC Raja is looking to stem system losses using a private contractor.

Veolia wins big in Armenia

Under a new contract, the company will extend its reach far beyond the capital.

Foreigners bail out of UK water as political and regulatory concerns threaten valuations

The impending exit of a number of high-profile foreign investors from the UK regulated water market coincides with one of the greatest periods of uncertainty the sector has faced since privatisation. Who will be next to sell?

David lloyd owen To have and to hold

Flood prevention makes more sense than cleaning up your mess does, says David Lloyd Owen.

Middle East and Africa

All change for SWCC as Saudi kicks off desalination reform

The world’s biggest market for desalination is undergoing a structural revolution as a result of the drop in energy prices. As the picture clears, what is the role of the international private water sector likely to be?

Procurement picks up with new CEO arriving at Omani desalination offtaker

The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company has provided one of the most stable project flows in the region. With a new top man on the way, even more projects are set to hit the market.

FEWA takes on desal specialist ILF to carry out 20-year water supply masterplan

A new study will outline options for desalination as the utility looks to take water supply into its own hands.

Tom scotney The Kingdom’s new face of desal

Tom Scotney outlines four challenges facing newly appointed Saudi desalination boss Ali al-Hazmi.

Middle East water in brief

Groups led by HSBC, KPMG and PwC have submitted bids to advise on the procurement of the 272,760m³/d & 1,200MW Ad Dur 2 power and water plant in Bahrain.