Global Water Intelligence Magazine

Feb 16 cover

Vol 17, Issue 2 (February 2016)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

Oily hopes
  • Water Standard has bought Monarch Separators. The deal brings together two companies at either end of the oilfield water treatment technology market...
  • Fountain Quail, the mobile flowback water treatment specialist which was wrong-footed by the death of its major investor last year, has secured a $40 million capital commitment from a private equity investor...
Saudi change
  • The Saline Water Conversion Corporation has put the tender for the 400,000m³/d Jeddah 4 desalination plant on hold after the Council of Economic Developmental Affairs called in all major capital projects to determine...

  • The price set by the government for oil and gas sold into the power and water sector was increased for the first time in 32 years in December...
  • The decision by the City of Flint in Michigan to switch its water supply from alkaline Lake Huron water to the more acidic Flint river, stripping the hardness from residential lead pipes, has created a great market for hysteria, bottled water, water testing equipment, domestic pipe replacement services, class action law suits, and conspiracy theorists...

  • Michigan is one of the states, alongside Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Utah, reporting that their wastewater and storm water infrastructure needs have fallen by more than 50% since 2008 in the latest (2012) Clean Watersheds Needs Survey published last month...

  • It is difficult to know what to make of the 20% overall drop in infrastructure needs reported by the survey. Stimulus funding in 2009 and 2010 may have had some effect, but different methods of calculating...

  • The needs survey coincides with another step down in federal funding for the state revolving fund finance system for water and wastewater. Full year spending data for 2015 is now in from the US Census Bureau. It shows...

  • California decided to postpone a planned $4.9 billion water bond issue at the end of last month. It turns out that the funds from a 2014 $7.5 billion water bond issue...
India shining
  • The hiatus in spending in the Indian water sector looks set to come to an end next quarter with the rollout of project funding for the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation...

  • Suez is positioning itself to make the most of growth in the Indian water market with the acquisition of Driplex. The company is big in the industrial water market, with strong references in power and petrochemicals...
Global domination
  • Chinese companies are continuing to buy their way into the international water business. At the beginning of this month, China’s Chengdu Techcent Environment Group agreed to buy Bilfinger Water Technologies for €200 million...

  • Iranian sanctions have provided a back door into the international water business for Beijing-based GreenTech. The company has been awarded the contract for a 25,000m³/d reuse plant serving a steel works in Kerman Province...
PPP momentum
  • The Indonesian public-private partnership scene is starting to come back to life after the Constitutional Court struck out the 2004 Water Law in a case brought by local NGOs last year...
  • A new federal water law for Mexico designed to spur private sector participation and depoliticise the debate around service provision is likely to be placed before voters in March...
  • The pressure for the remunicipalisation of private water contracts in France is reshaping the outsourcing proposition, according to Bertrand Camus, president of the Fédération Professionnelle des Entreprises de l’Eau (FP2E)...
  • The Acciona and Brookfield Financial-led consortium supplying a 75,000m³/d water treatment plant in Saint John, Canada, has closed the financing on the project...

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
(Subscription Requried)
FGUA O&M, FL United States 20 Jul 18 The shortlist ... Utility
Michelson WR... United States 20 Jul 18 At its meeting... Reuse
Los Alisos M... United States 20 Jul 18 At its meeting... Reuse
Hajipur STP India 19 Jul 18 The bid submis... WWTP
Muzaffarpur/... India 19 Jul 18 The bid submis... WWTP

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

Project tracker

Iran and Cuba open up; Canadian P3 pipeline stronger than ever; the battle for Rosarito; Huntington Beach assesses groundwater injection costs; ten groups vie for Omani desal trio; Tedagua bids low in Djibouti; all the latest project news from around the world this month.


GWI Water Index

Utility stocks put the brakes on February index slump

The GWI Asian Water Index fell to its lowest point since August 2014 as Chinese economic woes continued to bite. US investor-owned utilities, meanwhile, had a stellar month.

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

The top 40 private water operators

This month’s list ranks private water operators by population served, according to David Lloyd Owen’s latest estimates in the inDepth Water Yearbook published last month in association with Arup.


Christopher gasson How much for a litre of wastewater?

Christopher Gasson argues that wastewater treatment technology will remain a mucky business until we have clear financial benchmarks.

Chart of the month

Private water penetration on the rise

This month’s chart comes from Arup’s inDepth Water Yearbook, which is the new incarnation of David Lloyd Owen’s annual analysis of the international private water market. It shows how the cumulative number of people served by private water contracts has grown annually since Lloyd Owen started counting in 1987.

Private water penetration on the rise


Shell-shocked oilfield services firms face up to 2016

Last year marked one of the most difficult points in history for companies in the North American water for oil and gas market, as oil producers slashed spending in the light of the oil price drop. 2016 may be difficult, but reaction strategies are starting to emerge.

Saint John blessed with a smooth passage as water PPP reaches financial close

The commercial closing of New Brunswick’s first major water PPP in 18 years was reached in the face of minimal public and trades union opposition. Could it mark a turning point for Canada’s water PPP market?

EPA downgrades water investment predictions

Despite a drop in its predicted 20-year water funding needs, the devil is in the detail.

Revolving fund cutbacks continue

Utilities have a fight on their hands to keep wastewater funding up to levels seen in previous years.

Pipelayers to feel the benefit as Flint sparks a rethink on US drinking water

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where lead from old service pipelines leached into the drinking water supply after the city switched to a service from Detroit, could mean billions in pipe replacement contracts nationally. Legislators are still dragging their heels, however.

Bonds stutter in the Golden State

A new deal aimed at spurring desalination and wastewater recycling in California has hit a roadblock. Some projects are still waiting for cash from the last bond issue.

Water crises in an election year

Fixing water problems shouldn’t need a moonshot, but crises can provoke much-needed change, says Amanda Brock.

Americas Water In Brief

  • Consolidated Water has acquired 51% of Aerex Industries – an OEM serving the water and wastewater treatment markets – for $7.7 million, and has an option to buy the remaining 49% after three years. Aerex generated $19 million in revenues in 2015.

Asia pacific

Iran opens the international door for GreenTech

After an unexpected success in the Iranian project market created its first large overseas plant reference, Chinese wastewater systems integrator GreenTech has set its sights firmly on winning abroad. It is part of a wave of Chinese contractors trying a new tack in bidding.

A new BOT player hits Indonesia

For all the struggles of the national PPP programme, BOTs have form in Indonesia. The entry of a new player into the business shows it is still open.

SFC Group defends its record of success in Asia

When Mumbai retendered the first project in its 3 million m³/d wastewater treatment programme last year without the requirement for energy recovery, some saw the Austrian sequencing batch reactor specialist at work behind the scenes. Complaints continue.

India’s Smart City and AMRUT funding rollout begins

The Indian government has released the names of the twenty cities which scored highest in its Smart Cities Challenge, a national competition to secure national funding for urban infrastructure upgrades. What are the water opportunities?

Bilfinger Water Tech sold to Chinese

China’s Chengdu Techcent has agreed to buy embattled engineer Bilfinger’s water technology arm. It has big plans for water.

A passage to India and back again for Suez with Driplex buy

Suez is scoring a double coup with its acquisition of India’s Driplex. It provides a route into priority industrial sectors in India, and also a competitive established manufacturing base for exports to other emerging markets. Suez EVP Marie-Ange Debon spoke to GWI.

Willy yeo China’s innovation imperative

Willy Yeo is convinced that the next seismic shift in China’s water industry will come through innovation. It is time for foreign companies to sit up and take note.

Asia Water In Brief

  • Shares in Hong Kong-listed project developer Sound Global plunged 62% in one day on 25 January to close at HKD2.65 ($0.34), despite the owner Wen Yibo buying up shares on the open market.


Innovation in water – the new French revolution

The cosy long-term agreements enjoyed by private water operators in France are a thing of the past, as municipal leaders become increasingly tech-savvy and cost-conscious. How has the resultant rethink changed the way the private operators do business?

Thames reopens public market for water bonds

Following a spate of privately placed US deals, the public sterling market is now open for UK water credits. How have things changed since the last price review?

David lloyd owen The value of Europe’s water

David Lloyd Owen looks at the statistics behind water shortages and water productivity in the European Union.

Europe Water In Brief

  • Catalunya’s anti-fraud office this month recommended Acciona be stripped of its €1 billion 50-year ATLL bulk water concession in Barcelona after investigators found evidence the concession-holder made allegedly irregular payments totalling €12.13 million to two of its subsidiaries.

Middle East and Africa

Riyadh holds its breath as CEDA revolution kicks off

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs has turned its gaze on the Kingdom’s water sector. It brings more opportunity for the private sector, but also project delays.

Akkim spots an opportunity for membranes in Turkey’s rapid water market growth

The chemicals subsidiary of Akkök Holding has started manufacturing PVDF hollow-fibre membranes. The move reflects the massive investment going into the Turkish water sector ahead of the republic’s centenary in 2023.

Who is Akkim?

A global group moving from chemicals supply into the membrane market.

FO suppliers look forward as the regional energy picture changes

Despite a number of successful operating references in the region, forward osmosis has not yet made a wide-ranging impact on the desal markets. FO suppliers are looking to more complementary roles as the environment for innovation improves in the Middle East.

Tom scotney More carrots for farmers, please

State intervention, not technology, is needed to fix agricultural overconsumption – but it doesn’t have to be all bad news for farmers, says Tom Scotney.

Middle East Water in brief

  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering an equity injection of up to $50 million into the MENA Infrastructure Fund II, in a bid to promote more widespread private ownership of infrastructure projects in the region. The Dubaibased fund’s backer previously took a 20% equity stake in the Sohar power and water plant in Oman in 2013.