Global Water Intelligence Magazine

August 2016 cover

Vol 17, Issue 8 (August 2016)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

China on the move
  • A giant Chinese state-owned enterprise is reported to have put in a $650 million bid for Israeli desalter IDE Technologies. China Communications Construction Corporation is best known for the roads, bridges, railways and harbours it has built, both at home and in the rest of Asia and Africa. In 2015 it bought...
  • Hong Kong-listed Yunnan Water has bought Mitsui’s 50% stake in Hyflux’s troubled JV Galaxy NewSpring. In Japanese yen terms, the US$...
  • The next step is for Yunnan Water to buy Hyflux out of Galaxy NewSpring, but the Singapore- based project developer has not exercised the option to sell at Yunnan Water’s offer price at this stage. The speculation is that...
  • Water’s richest man Wang Piaoyang suddenly stepped down from his position as chairman of Beijing Water Business Doctor on 12 August. He founded the industrial wastewater treatment specialist and floated it on the Shenzhen stock exchange where it achieved a stratospheric valuation, enabling...
  • Beijing Enterprises Water Group won’t be buying Golden State Water Group after a change of heart by Beijing Enterprises Holdings, the city-owned investment company which is the largest shareholder in BEWG...
Data forever
  • Xylem has potentially redefined its future through the $1.7 billion acquisition of smart metering specialist Sensus from its private equity owners Goldman Sachs and The Jordan Company. The deal fills the data gap in Xylem’s three existing businesses...
  • GE has its eyes on the same digital prize. It is piloting a number of digital initiatives which it believes could fundamentally alter the way water utilities manage their assets, whilst generating a meaningful return on investment...
Fund times
  • An Australian water rights investor is looking to float on the Australian Stock Exchange to become the first wet water pureplay traded on a public market...
  • Summit Water Capital has launched a new exchange-traded water fund to give investors a more focused way to invest in the water sector...
A new life
  • Abengoa seems to have sealed its financial restructuring with a €1.169 billion capital investment from a consortium of investors. The deal won’t save Abengoa Water’s portfolio of desal assets, however. Investors were told on 16 August that the company’s interests in projects in...
  • Aquatech International is drawing up a growth strategy after taking on Ecolab as a minority investor...
  • The fall in the oil price has cut demand for brine concentration technologies in the oilfield, and had a knock-on effect on some of the new technologies targeting that market...
  • Water's richest man resigns: Wang Piaoyang, who was named in last December’s GWI as the person to have made the most money out of the water business, resigned the chairmanship of
    Beijing Water Business Doctor suddenly on 12 August...
Desal finance
  • Saudi Arabia’s Water and Electricity Company is looking to secure a long-term offtake agreement to buy water from the Khafji solar desalination project, in a move that could mark the return of the Kingdom to the private finance model in the water sector... 

  • Egypt, meanwhile, is backing off from private finance in water largely because of the long delays in developing projects...
  • The drought in Israel has forced the government there to bring forward the tender for a privately financed 137,000m³/d desalination plant to next year...
  • California’s State Water Resources Control Board has received nearly 200 applications for funding under its $800 million groundwater remediation grant funding programme. Four of the largest projects involve...

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)
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

Groundwater challenges in California and Canada; desal surprises in Egypt and Israel; Saudi Arabia eyes a return to privately financed desal; Jakarta kicks off $5 billion wastewater bonanza; Veolia’s contract ops progress; all the latest project news from around the world this month.


GWI Water Index

Utility stocks’ bull run ends despite positive earnings

US water utilities have long been a popular defensive play amid concerns over economic contraction elsewhere. Most fell this month as investors turned to higher-beta names.

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 world’s biggest wastewater facilities

Who gets the bragging rights for the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world? This month’s list gives the low-down, and shows that there is more than one claimant to the crown.


Christopher gasson Where’s the value in technology?

Christopher Gasson asks whether easy scalability or a solid service proposition is the key to success for water technology companies.

Chart of the month

Chart of the month: Big spenders on wastewater tech

This month’s chart comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s latest Clean Water Needs Survey.

Chart of the month august 2016


California squares up to its groundwater future

Funding for groundwater remediation in California will prefigure broader efforts to tackle unsustainable withdrawals. What is the outlook for advanced treatment projects?

Xylem makes quantum leap in data analytics with $1.7bn Sensus deal

Xylem’s efforts to develop a market-leading water analytics portfolio will reach a new height with the $1.7 billion acquisition of smart infrastructure specialist Sensus. Does the deal mark a watershed moment in the shift to encompass big data solutions?

Aquatech gears up for differentiated growth following Ecolab’s capital injection

The water treatment specialist has struggled to grow its revenue base, despite a highly differentiated industrial offering. MD Devesh Sharma believes that access to Ecolab’s contact book and chemistry know-how will enable the business to double within five years.

GE pushes the envelope on digital water solutions

Taking smart water to the next level will involve enhanced interconnectivity between software and hardware, and bringing experience from industry to bear on water utilities. GE has staked its claim at the forefront of the digital water revolution.

Aquarion quietly returns to the US contract ops market

A new outsourcing contract in Connecticut marks a low-key return to the contract operations market for the Macquarie-owned firm. What convinced it to get involved?

Water pure-play Carollo doubles down on design

Carollo Engineers has racked up a healthy portfolio of contract wins in the US, yet the design-only firm is wary of bowing to the rising tide of engineering diversification. Chief executive B Narayanan discusses strategy with GWI’s North America editor Paul Hasler.

Municipal sector buoys foundering quarterly equipment results

As industrial headwinds and currency fluctuations take their toll, the municipal sector is offering a lifeline for beleaguered North American equipment suppliers.

Wesstrickland Missoula earns its reputation

Municipalities must remain objective, despite the rhetoric around the decision to condemn Mountain Water, argues Wes Strickland.

Americas water in brief

Listed Brazilian concessionaire Sabesp more than doubled its net income in Q2 to BRL797.5 million ($250 million) on the back of revenues which were up 21.8% to BRL3.44 billion ($1.08 billion).

Asia pacific

New Jakarta wastewater boss prepares for $5bn build-out

As Jakarta mulls large-scale MBR facilities, wastewater utility head Teguh Subekti is looking at new ways to make expansion sustainable. Tariff reform and a merger with the water utility are the next steps.

China water in brief

State-owned EPC giant China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has been named in Israeli media as the leading bidder for desalination expert IDE Technologies.

End of the line for Hyflux-Mitsui portfolio as Yunnan Water scales up

Yunnan Water is buying Mitsui’s 50% stake in Galaxy NewSpring for $100 million. Negotiations are underway for the remaining 50% currently owned by Hyflux, but the Singaporean seller is likely to want a premium.

BEWG makes surprise U-turn on Golden State acquisition as market conditions bite

The long-awaited sale of the former Golden State water and wastewater project portfolio to Beijing Enterprises Water has been abandoned, and a new buyer has emerged. Is it a case of things coming full circle?

Willy yeo The ways of a SEA-farer

While major water markets around the world continue to disappoint, Southeast Asia’s promise shines out, argues Willy Yeo.

Asia water in brief

The deadline for United Engineers Limited to close the sale of Singaporean EPC firm UES Holdings to China’s largest private investment fund, China Minsheng, has been delayed until 30 September 2016.


Thames equity sale likely to close in 2017

Macquarie’s attempt to extricate itself from Thames Water will take at least six months to wrap up, given the deal’s complexities. Is it too much for the market to swallow?

Abengoa’s forced yard sale gets underway

The beleaguered Spanish group is looking to offload the bulk of its water concessions as part of a rescue deal aimed at staving off bankruptcy. What has it put on the block?

David lloyd owen The other tariff table

Ahead of next month’s GWI Water Tariff Survey, David Lloyd Owen looks and the costs and consequences of alternative water markets.

Europe water in brief

Affinity Water has priced a new £85 million bond due in 2042, the bulk of which was the result of an exchange offer out of the company’s existing 2022 issue.

Middle East and Africa

WEC set to reprise its role as a desalination offtaker

A groundbreaking solar desalination project in the Kingdom is set to be transferred to private control. Will the move pave the way for the long-awaited return of desalination PPPs in Saudi Arabia?

Israel set to revitalise greenfield desal BOT

The shrinking of the Sea of Galilee could trigger a tender for new desal plant.

Aqualia profits from Egypt U-turn

The Spanish company has secured one of its largest desalination references to date as the country turns away from PPPs. Will it be a case of third time lucky for the firm?

Tom scotney Saudi faces the music on water

The problems facing Saudi Arabia’s transformation are numerous – but the Kingdom is ready to take them on, says Tom Scotney.

Middle East water in brief

The World Bank has invited expressions of interest from consultants relating to a contract to support the Tanzanian Ministry of Works in examining PPP options for urban water and sanitation services.