Global Water Intelligence Magazine

May 16 cover

Vol 17, Issue 5 (May 2016)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

No MOWE no more
  • Saudi Arabia has split its Ministry of Water and Electricity in two, with electricity becoming part of the all-powerful Energy Ministry, and the water side of the portfolio becoming part of the Agriculture, Environment and Water ministry...
  • Both the Minister of Water and Electricity Abdullah Al-Hussayen and the head of the National Water Company Loay Al-Musallam have been fired in the wake of the row over the new tariff regime introduced at the beginning of this year...

  • Water reuse in Abu Dhabi has been unable to keep pace with the constant improvement in wastewater coverage and treatment...
EBB and flow
  • Two companies conducted IPOs this month, while two have gone bust. Global Water Resources, which owns regulated water utilities in Arizona, raised...
  • It has not been a good month for ceramic membrane manufacturers. Nanostone Water has suspended sales of its...
  • Beijing Enterprises Water Group shares fell by 10% in two days after it revealed that it had taken an 11.7% interest in the beleaguered private project developer Sound Global...
Spanish politics
  • A report by a European parliament delegation to the Tagus and Ebro river basins to be published later this month will urge the Spanish government to increase its reliance on desalinated water to...
  • The managing director of the municipally owned water utility for Madrid, Canal Isabel II, has been replaced. It follows a campaign by left-wingers in the city’s parliament for more transparency in the way the utility is run...
New finance for old
  • Certified “green” bonds are taking off as a vehicle for water finance in the US. Since the beginning of 2016, $1.7 billion in “green” bonds have been issued...
  • The Canadian infrastructure minister has announced plans to increase the maximum level of federal funding for P3 projects from 25% to 50%...
  • Indonesia is changing the way it finances its water sector to give BPPSPAM a greater role in preparing projects for central government funding...
  • The Indian government is getting impatient with the speed at which private finance can be brought into clean up the Ganga river basin. It has nominated five...
  • The Netherlands Water Partnership is setting up a pooled fund to finance water projects in Kenya. The first issuance will be a relatively modest volume, between $...
  • Argentina is considering the use of public-private partnerships as part of its new $22 billion...
  • The Asian Development Bank is opening up opportunities for design-build-operate and operations and maintenance contracts in Nepal...
  • The European Investment Bank agreed to lend £700 million to the Thames Tideway project in London in May, but the future of the bank’s lending to UK projects is in doubt...
  • Stantec’s $795 million acquisition of MWH Global was designed to take the Canadian firm deeper into alternative project delivery and the global market in a single stride...
  • Osmoflo’s new CEO Emmanuel Gayan has been tasked with driving the Australian company’s international revenues, so that Australia represents one third of sales, rather than the 90% it does today...
  • Global Water Intelligence’s publisher Christopher Gasson has stepped down as managing director of the company in favour of Jablanka Uzelac, who was formerly Head of Research.

  • Resonance Capital – which hired in Lydia Whyatt to set up a fund to back industrial water projects – has closed its first BOT (build-operate-transfer) deal. It is for a $13 million...
First-quarter results round-up
  • Suez showed better growth than Veolia, but neither impressed investors (Veolia’s stock fell 9% and Suez’s stock fell 12% over the past month). Two major project starts helped...

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)
Pittsburgh r... United States 17 Oct 18 On 15 October ... Utility
Morro Bay WW... United States 16 Oct 18 Negotiations a... Reuse
North Bay Wa... United States 16 Oct 18 Bids from gene... Reuse
San Juan Bau... United States 16 Oct 18 At its meeting... Utility
Tampa Bay re... United States 16 Oct 18 At its board m... Reuse

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

Project tracker

California’s industrial reuse challenge; Silicon Valley teams coalesce; the state of desal in North and South Africa; Canada shifts P3 goalposts again; India changes tack on Ganga PPPs; Indonesia reboots BOT market; all the latest project news from around the world this month.


GWI Water Index

American stocks double in value as index hits new high

The GWI Americas Index beat the market in style this month, rising above 200 for the first time. Meanwhile, Brexit fears could dampen UK prospects going into earnings season.

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 world’s worst water deals

There are two easy ways of losing money in business: overpaying for acquisitions and under-pricing contracts. Here is GWI’s list of the ten most unpleasant water deals.


Christopher gasson The biggest lemonade maker

Christopher Gasson suggests that turning bad deals to good is the greatest executive talent – and it is needed most in China today.

Chart of the month

Chart of the month: Sources of infrastructure spending

This month’s chart comes from our recently published Global Water Market 2017 report.

Chart of the month may 2016


Macri considers new PPPs for Argentina’s water sector

A new $22 billion water spending initiative will require private finance to make it a reality. President Macri is making all the right noises, but international private water companies have long memories.

Stantec goes global in pursuit of diversified project delivery

Stantec’s acquisition of MWH Global has created one of North America’s largest water engineering firms. Following the completion of the $795 million deal earlier this month, Stantec’s Gord Johnston spoke to GWI about the company’s strategy in the water sector.

Pure Technologies steps up its bid to unlock the value of buried assets

Following a year of transition, the Canadian pipeline assessment specialist has moved from being a technology provider to a source of business intelligence for utilities. CEO Jack Elliott tells GWI how he has primed the company for a period of sustained profitable growth.

Canada P3s face new threat

The Canadian government has announced plans to increase the maximum federal contribution for P3 projects. What will this mean for private investment in water/ wastewater projects?

Dow expands its wastewater capabilities through OxyMem investment

Dow’s exposure to the wastewater treatment space has historically been confined to niche applications. By commercialising an energyefficient technology developed by an Irish start-up, it hopes to access a much larger segment of the market.

BW Primoris primed for more BOTs in Texas

A 40-year desalination deal using private finance offers a new way of spreading the cost of water supply infrastructure for industry and municipalities in Texas. It is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Water asserts its authority as a viable subset of the green bonds market

The first water bond to be certified under a new climate change standard comes on the back of an explosion in the volume of water and wastewater-related green bond issuance in the US. What is the state of play in this burgeoning market?

Raising the standard for green bonds

An unregulated segment such as the green bonds market needs checks and balances. A new standard launched this month is well-intentioned, but will it have the effect of limiting growth in the sector?

Nanostone re-aligns its market strategy as commercial realities bite

Nanostone Water’s ambitions to drive down the price of ceramic membranes have been dealt a major blow, with the commercialisation schedule pushed back and key sales staff laid off. CEO David Jellison explains his strategy to GWI.

Debra coy Failure to think

As government comes under fire for Flint, money alone is not the answer, says Debra Coy. Thinking fast is as important as acting fast.

Americas water in brief

Global Water Resources, Inc., which owns regulated water utilities in Arizona, raised $8.4 million via a Nasdaq listing at the end of April.

Asia pacific

International firms return to the fray as Nepal offers O&M

After a litany of false starts, Nepal’s capital is once again close to receiving the services it so desperately needs. A new generation of operators are vying to enter the market.

BEWG and Tsinghua burrow into Sound Group

Wen Yibo’s hold on the remains of the scandal-hit Sound Group is looking vulnerable as China’s hungry state-owned groups circle. The aggressive new arrival Tsinghua Holdings is pouring cash into Tus Sound while BEWG has quietly built a 12% stake in Sound Global.

Jakarta bolsters institutions ahead of $20bn water spend

Indonesia’s ambitious plans to improve drinking water services will require investment of $20 billion between 2015 and 2019. In an effort to avoid past mistakes, the government is overhauling the way in which infrastructure is both funded and maintained. 

Home-grown Aussie desalter ramps up its international ambitions

Osmoflo wants to make its mark abroad after a quarter of a century of domestic domination. New CEO Emmanuel Gayan explains the strategy to GWI.

Swiss challenge for Ganga PPPs?

Aware that it is halfway through its term, India’s Modi government is rebooting its flagging Ganga clean-up project by sidestepping classic PPP procurement.

Asia water in brief

Suez has successfully negotiated a 14-year extension (to 2035) to its BOT contract with Sydney Water, covering the 3 million m³/d Prospect water treatment plant.

Resonance funds a ZLD facility worth its salt

A capital injection by a European water fund has broken new ground in addressing the challenges faced by China’s coal-to-chemicals industry. As well as ensuring zero liquid discharge at the site, the fund will also derive income from the crystallised salt by-products.

Willy yeo A turn of the tide?

Is China’s anti-pollution focus moving from air to water? GWI’s Willy Yeo investigates.

China water in brief

Low-pressure membrane specialist Scinor is understood to be in the process of being acquired by Shenzhen listed private company Top Resource Conservation & Environment Corp. for a purchase price in the region of RMB900 million ($138 million).


The battle to bring Spain’s white elephants into line

The under-utilisation of Spain’s seawater desalination infrastructure has as much to do with politics as with opposition from irrigators. The outcome of next month’s election could catalyse change, but it will need to be accompanied by investment in distribution.

Could Spain be on the verge of a new era in wastewater reuse?

The key to unlocking Spain’s reuse potential lies with the river basin authorities, which assign water rights to farmers. While industrial reuse is gaining momentum, the resolve of the irrigation lobby will be harder to break.

CYII top brass dismissed as questions mount over transparency issues

The reasons behind a spate of high-profile departures at Madrid’s regional water operator are unlikely to boost confidence in its investibility. Why did it take so long for the rot to come to light?

Loyal insiders provide Southern comfort as third-party equity bids fail to impress

The first of two sizeable equity stakes for sale in the UK regulated water market has been absorbed by existing investors. How will the outcome of the sale affect sentiment for the 26% of Thames that Macquarie has put on the block?

Brexit fears loom large for UK water company treasurers

UK water companies have become used to relying on vast volumes of cheap EIB funding to fund their capital programmes. Exiting the EU could turn off the tap.

Europe water in brief

French biocide specialist Amoéba has raised €14.7 million of equity via a private placement, less than a year after floating on the Paris Euronext.

David lloyd owen The cost of complacency

Good management can mitigate climate change’s impact, but agricultural use cannot be overlooked, says David Lloyd Owen.

Middle East and Africa

Saudi top brass pay the price for water tariff reshuffle

Some of the biggest names in the global water sphere have gone after the Saudi government bowed to public pressure over price rises. Is financial reform in the Kingdom on the rocks, or was it all just a matter of poor public relations?

Investor appetite refuses to flag as Omanis push more desal onto the market

As demand for water grows, more and more desalination projects are being brought to market in Oman. Developers say that the appetite for investment in Muscat is insatiable.

Emirati TSE rethink to spur reuse

Changes in Abu Dhabi could see levels of reuse match treatment volumes – and leave wastewater authorities free to focus on an upcoming infrastructure build-out.

Middle East water in brief

Dubai Municipality has taken on Parsons Corporation to advise on the procurement and implementation of an AED12 billion ($3.3 billion) deep tunnel sewer programme.

Tom scotney Facing the cold light of day

After Saudi Arabia’s great water shake-up, Tom Scotney asks whether tariff reform in the Kingdom can ever be both effective and acceptable.

Pooling resources to bridge Kenya’s funding gap

The $400 million funding deficit in Kenya’s National Water Master Plan will need to be met from sources other than the public purse. A new pooled water facility could go some way to taking up the slack.