Global Water Intelligence Magazine

May17 cover for web

Vol 18, Issue 5 (May 2017)

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In Global Water Intelligence this month

Need to know

Seeking purity
  • Pentair has decided to spin off its electronics business to become a water pure-play. It is going to take some story-telling to draw a single growth theme from Pentair’s diverse portfolio of assets. These include swimming pool equipment, hydroponic irrigation systems, pumps, membranes, and point-of-use filtration systems. There are certainly some great assets in there, but it will...
  • RWL Water has signed a letter of intent as a precursor to becoming a publicly listed company in Australia through a proposed business combination with ASX-listed wastewater treatment specialist Emefcy. The deal, if consummated, would create a global pure-play company...
  • Meanwhile, Japan’s largest water pure-play Kurita Water Industries is also going global. The president has bold plans to increase net sales from $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion within four years. Growth will be fuelled by...
Water war
  • It looks like the mother of all legal battles is brewing over Mekorot’s Ashdod desalination plant in Israel. The project has left a huge crater in state-owned Mekorot’s finances as a result of a salvo of problems which hit the construction and commissioning of the plant. Sadyt, the Spanish desalination specialist which built the plant, is said to have...
  • IDE Technologies is said to have been approached to fix the problems at the plant, which is one of only two large-scale desal facilities in Israel in which is does not own a stake. IDE is in the middle of its own ownership issues – 50% owner Israel Chemicals is said to be shopping its stake to prospective investors...
  • Sumitomo has joined Brookfield Business Partners in mopping up the majority of Odebrecht Ambiental’s Brazilian water assets. After parting with $250 million, the Japanese trading house emerged with a 14% stake in...
  • GS Inima is looking for an investment partner to help it grow its Brazilian concessions business. Ideally it wants to retain control of GS Inima Brasil while using third-party capital to...
  • Also up for grabs is the somewhat rag-tag bunch of Latin American water interests assembled over the past 15 years by Madrid’s regional operator Canal Isabel II. The growing corruption scandal which has hit the company has resulted in a commitment to...
  • Although Brazil is the second-largest market for greenfield private water investment after China, it looks like the government may be over-ambitious about the speed at which it can deliver reform...
  • The newest multilateral development bank on the scene, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), has chosen water as one of its three core sectors. Its first commitment with a water sector component is a $...
  • Conversely, the Asian Development Bank continues to find exciting Chinese water PPP trends to back. This month, it mobilised $250 million for...
Future democracy
  • Dubai-based Future Pipe Industries has defended itself against accusations that it “controlled the vote” to defeat an amendment to the International Desalination Association’s constitution. The measure would have ensured that no company could have more than two employees on the board of the association. When the amendment was voted down 833 votes to 231, an anonymous e-mail was... 

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)
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

Panama’s procurement activity reaches new high; Peru recasts PPP plans; Brazil’s first desal project delayed; Bureau of Reclamation eyes P3s; Florida’s reuse ambitions; CH2M wins big in North Miami Beach; Tunisia re-tenders for mobile desalination; all the latest project news...


GWI Water Index

Spin while you’re winning

Pentair’s decision to recast itself as a water pure-play by spinning off its electrical business is symptomatic of a wider trend for firms to seek higher valuations through specialisation.

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

Development banks in water

Which multilateral international financial institutions have lent the most money to the water sector over the past decade?


Christopher gasson Bootstrapping it with the best of the best

Christopher Gasson explains the thinking behind the Leading Utilities of the World initiative launched last month.

Chart of the month

Chart of the month: US utility capex slumps

This month’s chart is somewhat alarming. It shows data from the US Census’s monthly Construction Put in Place survey, giving details of the total spend on drinking water treatment and systems, and wastewater collection and treatment combined with solid waste facilities.

Chart of the month


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...


Pure Technologies partners with Xylem to target smart water in emerging markets

Both firms are responding to an increasing focus on water loss and asset management in emerging markets. Will their latest collaboration lay the groundwork for a more formal relationship in future?

US water sector assesses the challenges as Bureau of Reclamation mulls P3s

Despite increasing awareness of the potential role for private finance in meeting infrastructure investment needs, the US water sector is notorious for its limited pipeline of tangible P3 opportunities. Will an RFI issued by USBR be another case of all talk and no action?

RWL Water and Emefcy combine in Fluence

The combination of Emefcy’s technological prowess with RWL Water’s global reach looks good on paper. As a publicly listed company, the merged entity will be accountable to more than just a family office.

Contractors fight for dominance in DBOs as Panama infrastructure roll-out gathers pace

The nation has become one of the most active procurers of water and wastewater treatment infrastructure in the last 18 months. How long before the momentum loses steam?

Peru sets out its new vision for private sector intervention in water and wastewater

The Peruvian authorities have ripped up their previous plans for private sector participation in water and wastewater infrastructure. How will the new set of projects be received?

Brazil’s privatisation push faces new setback as consultancy timetable falters

Fewer than half of the tenders for consultancy contracts aimed at defining Brazil’s water PPP roadmap were awarded as planned last month. The window for making tangible progress ahead of next year’s elections is closing fast.

Saneago to test the waters with IPO

The investible universe of Brazilian water stocks could be about to get wider.

Debra coy The tortoise and the hare

Speedy industrial growth has been prioritised by water companies, but a muni spending revolution is underway, argues Debra Coy.

Pentair recasts itself as a pure-play water company

Spinning off its electrical business will transform Pentair into a pure-play water company. Can it convince shareholders that it has a cohesive go-to-market strategy?

Will the new Pentair go digital?

As Pentair faces up to its future as a water-only equipment firm, maximising the value of its product portfolio will require quick action on smart water.

Asia pacific

Reuse and overseas M&A to drive Kurita’s $2.7bn goal

The Japanese chemicals giant is preparing a new management plan to grow its revenue to $2.7 billion per year. Buying chemicals sales networks in the US is a priority, but with its profit margin under strain, Kurita also has industrial reuse BOOs firmly in its sights.

Safbon to buy Doosan Hydro

Safbon’s fourth cross-border buy in two years will function as a bridge to the US, and bring a crucial bank of engineers.

Sumitomo taps partners to add value in Brazil

Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corporation has spent $250 million to take a minority stake in a private equity-led water concessionaire in Brazil. How will it add value?

Asian Development Bank signs off on $250 million loan for CITIC’s water subsidiary

The growing trend in China for ever larger PPP contracts covering multiple environmental services is attracting the largest state-owned names into water. With its latest loan to CITIC, the ADB is recognising that these integrated solutions providers are the future.

Multilaterals provide assistance at the birth of the Indonesian Development Bank

Indonesian PPP financier SMI is absorbing hundreds of millions of dollars from international financing institutions and commercial lenders as it transitions into a national development bank. As facilitator, lender and advisor, its competencies are in high demand.

AIIB joins hunt for bankable water projects

The water sector and private sector participation are two key priorities for the fledgling AIIB. A policy of trying to limit its investment in China – the main market for bankable water BOTs – means that its private sector arm may struggle to match its sovereign lending.


Pre-emptive takeover to net Affinity sellers 40% premium

A pre-emptive offer for a UK regulated water company could mark a new direction for the sector. With more money chasing fewer assets, are auctions a thing of the past?

Canal Isabel II to sell off its Latin American water portfolio

A corruption scandal has forced the Madrid-based company to put its non-domestic holdings on the block. Ongoing investigations mean the sale process will be far from straightforward.

Inima emerges from revenue stagnation with dual-pronged growth strategy

The Spanish contractor has diversified its business model in order to meet the growth expectations of its Korean parent. It has yet to make a breakthrough in the Gulf.

Abengoa ready to return to growth in water

The Spanish company’s water subsidiary was on top of the world in 2015 when its parent company was overwhelmed by debt. After a huge financial restructuring, the company is ready to reconquer the water market, CEO Joaquín Fernández de Piérola Marín tells GWI.

David lloyd owen A GLAAS half empty?

Investment in water assets cannot be carried out in the dark, says David Lloyd Owen – but where is the data?

Middle East and Africa

Mekorot D&E faces chaos over crisis-hit Ashdod project

Israel’s government has asked IDE Technologies to step in at the troubled Ashdod desalination plant. With delays, construction issues and contractor disputes plaguing the project’s progress, the future of the plant – and its state-owned developer – looks uncertain.

ACWA Power upsizes unique project-backed bond for $300m investment war chest

An oversubscribed asset-backed bond will mean a major cash injection for the leading Saudi power and water developer at a time when the Kingdom’s privately financed project market is exploding. It is also a major sign of international confidence in the Kingdom’s plans.

Saudi Arabia bolsters role of central offtaker ahead of water PPP push

A new cabinet ruling has put the Water and Electricity Company back at the centre of things as the Kingdom looks to stimulate a wave of private water investment.

Global pooled finance initiative for water gets €10m Dutch government backing

A new water financing facility aims to leverage €1 billion of debt finance from local institutional investors. How will it overcome the hurdles which have ended previous attempts to establish sustainable local finance initiatives?

African Water Facility to screen projects for PPP potential under ambitious new strategy

The AfDB-hosted body wants to leverage €15 billion of funding for infrastructure and service provision by matching bankable projects with sources of finance. It will have to ensure its own financial sustainability first.