Global Water Intelligence Magazine

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Vol 18, Issue 2 (February 2017)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

  • The National Water Company in Saudi Arabia has outlined a list of operating assets it hopes to make available to the private sector through brownfield BOT contracts, in a bid to recycle capital. The move is part of a major repositioning of the water and wastewater utility as it looks to meet the requirements of...
  • The NWC’s desalinationfocused neighbour, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation, meanwhile, is well underway with its own greenfield and brownfield privatisation plan. While a treasure trove of new privately financed IWPs is on the horizon, SWCC seems to be looking at a build-financetransfer model for...
  • Hyflux CEO Olivia Lum was at Changi General Hospital earlier this month to celebrate the launch of a medical trial of Hyflux’s ELO water on diabetic patients. Hyflux set up ELO with a Hungarian therapeutic water supplier in 2015 in a bid to diversify away from...
  • Oman is considering its own structural reform plan, following the submission to the government of recommendations on the structure of public water bodies. Plans to merge water and wastewater under corporatised regional water bodies are aimed at...
Private to public
  • Singapore-based engineering and equipment sales business De.mem is planning to raise A$3.75-4.50 million (US$2.9-3.5 million) via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian Stock Exchange at the end of March. The company has...
  • Rean Water Tech, a twoyear- old Indian infrastructure operator focused on municipal water and wastewater treatment projects, is looking to offload a significant minority stake to an international partner to fund its next stage of growth. CEO Hitesh Arora thinks the company has the potential to...
  • Canadian waste-to-energy company Anaergia, too, is open to the idea of external investment in its Fibreplate ultrafiltration membrane business, CEO Andrew Benedek tells GWI this month...
'F' is for finance
  • The selection of a Maple Reinders-led team as the preferred bidder for a $178 million design-build-finance-operate (DBFO) contract in Hamilton, Ontario last month signifies the first privately financed biosolids management project in North America to move beyond the planning stages in over three years...
  • Cities across India also appear to be embracing the private finance model for largescale desalination projects. Initial excitement from the market was, somewhat inevitably, dimmed when prospective developers took a closer look...
Losing arms and legs
  • The Agbar group, Suez’s subsidiary in Spain, is fighting to defend its dominant position on home ground in Catalunya as opposition to private sector management of water services grows in the wake of the Catalan government’s botched ATLL concession...
  • Kelda, the holding company for Yorkshire Water in the UK, has put its non-regulated business up for sale. The £100 million-a-year business has three main subsidiaries operating long-term contracts in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and also owns anaerobic digestion plants in Edinburgh and Cardiff. The move has reignited speculation over the future of...
  • Kelda’s ownership structure has been remarkably stable since being taken over back in 2007, even while trade has been brisk in slugs of privately held equity in a number of the other regulated UK water companies, often at multiples well in excess of their regulatory asset value. This month alone, Hastings Fund Management took its stake in South East Water up to 100%, Morgan Stanley announced...
  • Ironically, it is Macquarie which seems to be having the most trouble as it seeks to offload its remaining stake in Thames Water. Earlier this month, the Australian fund manager attempted to rekindle interest in...
Latin lovers
  • A broad array of top-flight international consultancy firms – including KPMG, EY, Accenture, CH2M, Bain, and PwC – are among the 20 consortia shortlisted by Brazilian stateowned bank BNDES earlier this month to map out the creation of private sector concessions in six state water operators.
  • Colombia and Peru, too, are looking for ways to smooth out impediments to getting water PPPs over the finish-line.

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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Edison O&M, NJ United States 15 Aug 18 The response d... Utility
West Milford... United States 15 Aug 18 The deal is no... Utility
Shuaibah Sou... Kuwait 15 Aug 18 The project ha... Desal
Doha East re... Kuwait 15 Aug 18 The project ha... Desal
Nuwaiseeb de... Kuwait 15 Aug 18 The project ha... Desal

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

Project tracker

California’s reuse imperative; Colombia and Peru face up to PPP challenges; Honduras eyes water PPP; Cautious optimism in Indonesia; industry big guns stymie India’s grand desal plans; Pittsburgh revisits private O&M after repeated infra failures; all the latest project news from...


GWI Water Index

Safe to go back in the water?

The appreciation of the Brazilian currency helped Bovespa-listed water stocks to hit new highs this month. How much steam is there left in the market?

Water on the markets this month:

GWI IndexValueChangeDate
Global Water151.95-1.68%10 Jul
Asian Water97.61-6.70%10 Jul
EMEA Water89.43-1.70%10 Jul
Americas Water247.320.58%10 Jul

The List

Introducing the GWI Water Market Transparency Index

Whether it is outright bribery or hidden barriers to exclude outsiders from profitable markets, there is a lot that gets in the way of free competition in water.


Christopher gasson Data vs. desal in Riyadh

Christopher Gasson looks at how data collection is spelling the end of project-led, productivity-poor utilities.

Chart of the month

Water consumption in Saudi Arabia

Chart of the month feb 2017


Water Leaders

Introducing the Leading Utilities of the World

Last month the Global Water Leaders’ Group launched a new initiative to highlight the achievements of the top performing utilities in the world. It has ambitions to change the way the water industry works.

Being the best in the world is not our job

Singapore PUB’s chief executive Peter Ng has another goal in mind: being the best for Singapore. It means pursuing impossible performance targets, pushing the boundaries of technology, and still worrying about how to win the trust of customers.




Chief Technology Officer

User Perspectives

American & Efird seamlessly steps up its reuse and recycling efforts

US thread and textiles mammoth American & Efird boasts industry-leading sustainability practices, including water reuse systems. As concerns and regulations around water issues in the sector rise across the world, GWI discovers how it plans to stay ahead of the curve.

Smart Water Watch

Water security: utilities face up to a new type of threat

As digital and connected technologies become commonplace in distribution networks and treatment plants, water utilities are increasingly becoming targets of cybercrime. Utilities will have to conform with new security regulations or face unforgiving penalties.

CTO Outlook

Acciona’s automation dreams for desal

Acciona Agua has put an ever-stronger emphasis on digital technologies in its business as it looks to keep one step ahead in an increasingly competitive EPC market. GWI talks to its digital leads Alejandro Beivide and Frank Zamora to hear more about the strategy. 

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


Biosolids DBFOs start to gain traction in North America

There is an unprecedented level of interest in privately financed biosolids projects among municipalities in the US and Canada. Will this translate into opportunities on the ground?

Membranes buoy Anaergia amid tepid waste-to-energy growth

Although the slow growth of Anaergia’s core sludge treatment market has delayed a possible IPO, the company’s membrane business is making promising strides.

Unique challenges set to define Colombia’s PPP roadmap for water

A brace of very different projects could define the way Colombia moves forward with private sector participation in the water sector. Environmental deadlines and local disputes have not made it an easy ride for the contracting authorities.

Peruvian reform programme promises to de-bottleneck stalled PPP pipeline

Peru’s struggle to push successful PPPs over the finish-line suffered a serious blow last year, when only a single project was approved. How can the government re-engage with the private sector to create a workable environment for water projects?

Energy Recovery looks to defy cyclical desal earnings with Düchting pumps partnership

A packaged energy recovery solution announced this month will provide both firms with a new base of recurring revenues. The service agreement structure could provide a blueprint for other water equipment companies looking to market off-balance sheet alternatives.

Americas water in brief

A new passive exchange-traded fund launched on 14 February is the latest vehicle to offer exposure to the water industry.

All Trumped up

The US water industry must take the new president at face value – and the rhetoric is encouraging, says Amanda Brock.

Asia pacific

India set to test the market for desalination BOTs

Private finance models feature heavily in the latest flurry of desalination tenders to come out of India. Why are bidders more excited about a design-build-operate opportunity in Chennai?

Local elections loom over Ganga PPPs

As the Modi government rolls out the first of its long-awaited hybrid annuity PPPs for wastewater treatment in the Ganga river basin, state elections are threatening the programme with yet more delays. What is going on behind the scenes?

Indian water pure-play seeking strategic partner to boost sales to $100m per year

Rean Water Tech, a young municipal water pure-play set up by former managers of Swach Environment, is looking for a strategic partner to achieve its dream of reaching $100 million in annual revenues within five years. MD Hitesh Arora spoke to GWI about his plans.

Singapore’s De.mem pivots to industrial market ahead of Aussie listing

Venture capital-backed decentralised water treatment firm De.mem is launching an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange as it looks to raise funds to break into Australia and China. It is targeting the industrial wastewater market with a new nanofiltration product.

Asia water in brief

Privately held Chinese water project developer Poten Environment is due to list on the Shanghai stock exchange on 17 February. Venture capital-backed CSD Water Service is likely to be next, after it received approval to sell a 25% post-money stake via a Shanghai IPO.

Willy yeo Money dearest

In the first of a three-month series, GWI’s Willy Yeo investigates the impact of Donald Trump’s policies on project financing in Asia.


Secondary trading picks up in UK water company equity

The action is hotting up in the regulated UK water sector. Who will be next on the block?

Kelda puts its outsourcing arm on the block

The decision to offload Kelda’s non-regulated business – which has stakes in a number of wastewater PFIs and anaerobic digestion PPPs – has re-ignited speculation over the future of other UK water companies’ ancillary business activities.

New blow for UK water competition as selfsupply licences gain traction

Multi-site corporate water users are waking up to the advantages of self-supply licences. It is a further setback for the competitive retail services market, both in England and in Scotland.

Agbar feels the heat in its own back yard

A robust defence of its dominant position in Catalunya will be vital if the Suez subsidiary is to stem the tide of public authorities looking to take water services back in-house. Where is it most vulnerable?

Europe water in brief

Shares in Dee Valley Water were delisted from the London Stock Exchange on 16 February in conjunction with the company’s £78.5 million takeover by Severn Trent.

David lloyd owen Getting the ‘ew’ out of the EU

The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive is shifting up a gear. David Lloyd Owen takes a look at the implications.

Middle East and Africa

NWC matches structural reform with customer service

Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company has been at the forefront of the changes sweeping the Kingdom. With a vast array of new projects lined up, CEO Abdulrahman Al-Ibrahim tells GWI how he plans to match reform with a focus on customer service.

Recycling wastewater plants

Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company is looking to partner its new greenfield PPP projects with a major capital recycling scheme by privatising a host of existing plants.

Hyflux signs MoU to supply trio of new Saudi desalination facilities

Sources have indicated that private finance could underpin the Singaporean company’s newly announced projects.

Water operators tread new ground in Jeddah with first Modon O&M lease contract

While Saudi Arabia’s municipal utility bodies look for new ways to engage with the private sector, the body responsible for the Kingdom’s industrial parks has embarked on a ground-breaking performance-based lease contract. How does the model work?

Omani government considers its options for structural reform

An ambitious array of suggestions about reform for water and wastewater services in the Sultanate have been submitted to the government. The changes are likely to be a precursor to a roll-out of new PPP opportunities.

PAEW targets quick wins in water

Oman’s public water agency has put tackling non-revenue water at the top of its agenda. The private sector will have a key role to play.

Middle East water in brief

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Holding has agreed to sell its stake in the ACWA Power Sasakura company to partner Sasakura.