The shortlisted entries for the 2012 Global Water Awards are as follows:
For the desalination plant supplier which has made the greatest overall contribution to the desalination industry in 2011.
Winner: GE Water & Process Technologies
- Over the space of a year, GE Water’s evaporation business secured five projects recycling water from the Canadian oil sands. This is the kind of tough environmental challenge that the company’s Ecomagination initiative was designed to address, and its success is undoubtedly a triple win: for GE’s customers, for GE itself and for the delicate environment of Northern Canada.
- Customers for small to medium-sized desalination plants were once tied to poorly performing assets which never quite met their needs. Then GE developed its modular containerised desalination plants, revolutionising that sector of the market. It brought together cutting-edge technology, lean manufacturing, innovative ownership models and short lead times to deliver a knock-out proposition which was allconquering in 2011.
- Whether it is lowering the operating pH for its industrial wastewater evaporators, using its UF technology for seawater pretreatment, or investing in proprietary energy recovery systems, GE Water has been quietly pushing the frontiers of technology to meet the needs of its core industrial customers.
- Shuweihat 2 was the largest desalination plant to be commissioned anywhere in the world in 2011, while its auxiliary load consumption of less than 3.9kWh/m3 is the lowest of any MSF installation to date. It underlines Doosan’s commanding position in the MSF market, and proves that it has effectively wrestled the initiative away from former top dog Fisia.
- Doosan pulled off a stunning coup with a direct award from SWCC for the Yanbu plant – the company had never built an MED unit even one tenth that size before. The fact that this was quickly followed up with a second large MED win at Marafiq was an impressive display of chutzpah, underscoring confidence in the outlook for large-scale thermal projects.
- Not content with its achievements in the Gulf thermal market, Doosan continues to make progress with large-scale RO projects, commissioning the 136,260m3/d Shuwaikh SWRO facility in Kuwait last year.
- The partnership with Marubeni has proved to be an inspired move, providing access to the burgeoning mining market in Latin America, where Marubeni has significant interests. Osmoflo’s first O&M contract in Chile – won last year in the face of intense competition from more established players – is only the tip of the iceberg, while its remote plant operating expertise greatly enhances the value proposition.
- The Wheatstone complex is one of the biggest resource projects in Australia, and success there is a ringing endorsement of Osmoflo’s industrial expertise, building on the success of a previous contract serving the Gorgon project. It showcases Osmoflo’s flexible approach to working with its customers – two of the plants are being purchased outright, while a third is being provided under a 12-month rental agreement.
- Osmoflo’s leading position in the desalination segment for coal seam gas water was reinforced in February 2011 with the commissioning of a unique 1,500m3/d containerised plant. The RO facility can be decommissioned from one site, relocated and be fully operational again within five working days, giving client Santos the flexibility to move the unit between produced water storage dams to maximise well operation across a large area. With the produced water treatment market in Australia expected to grow exponentially, the ability to furnish flexible solutions will have CSG producers beating a path to Osmoflo’s door.
- The awarding of the SSDP back in 2008 put Valoriza on the international desalting map for the first time. The successful commissioning of the 140,000m3/d plant last August means that a map is no longer required – Valoriza has well and truly arrived. Client Water Corp was so convinced, it immediately awarded a contract to double the size of the plant to 280,000m3/d.
- The awarding of a 12,000m3/d SWRO pant in Mantoverde, Chile last year marked the company’s entry into the lucrative mining market in Latin America.
- When it wasn’t taking large bites out of the market share of industry behemoths, Valoriza spent the last 12 months developing its global reach in other ways, opening two new international offices and supporting the R&D initiatives being undertaken at the Australian National Centre of Excellence in Desalination. This demonstrates the company’s commitment not just to building market share, but to advancing the interests of the industry as a whole.
For the desalination plant commissioned during 2011 that represents the most impressive technical achievement in the industry.
Winner: Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, Australia
- Going from initial concept to producing first water in four years, the plant was ordered to be doubled in size before it was even finished, a testament to the inspiration and dedication of the project team. The SSDP represents a milestone in terms of drought-proofing Western Australia, satisfying 17% of the water demand of 1.6 million people in one of most isolated and climate-vulnerable cities in the world.
- Construction was carried out with an absolute minimum of environmental impact – the bulk of the facility is housed in a disused limestone quarry, with tunnelling methods rather than blasting being used to construct the marine pipelines, thus minimising the impact on the coastal dune system, and keeping the neighbouring beach open for recreational activities during construction. An 8-metre-high vegetated berm will reduce noise pollution and provide a visual screen to the east and south of the plant site.
- The plant is 100% powered by renewable energy, showing that the client and its team on the ground were willing to work together to enhance the reputation of the desalination industry as a whole. It is a glimpse of what all plants will one day look like.
Distinction: Fujairah 2, UAE
- Power demand fluctuates wildly from season to season in the UAE, while water demand is more consistent. Fujairah 2 uses an elegant balance of MED and SWRO technologies to consistently provide the largest output, at the lowest energy cost, of any hybrid desal plant anywhere in the world.
- The plant was one of the first working facilities of its scale in the region to use a Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) pretreatment system for the SWRO phase, vital in dealing with harmful algal bloom (HAB) events. During February 2011, the newly commissioned plant maintained its production capacity during a severe algal bloom which forced neighbouring desal plants to shut down or reduce their throughput – a credit to the resilience and ingenuity of its design.
- At 38,640m3/d (8.5MIGD) each, Fujairah 2 has the largest MED units of any desal plant commissioned thus far, showing that in the right hands, even the most mature desalination technology can be pushed to new limits.
Ad Dur IWPP, Bahrain
- Ad Dur is the largest SWRO plant drawing water from the Gulf. It is a potent symbol of the acceptance of reverse osmosis as a credible desalination technology in the region, helping to overturn old orthodoxies.
- As only the second IWPP built by the GCC countries without any thermal component, after Barka II in Oman, the project has fought against the odds to prove that RO technology, allied with robust pretreatment, can enable reliable, flexible delivery of water at a reasonable price.
- The plant’s success rights a historic wrong; the failure of SWRO technology to take off in the Gulf is often laid at the door of the troubled original Ad Dur plant built in 1990. The new facility meets a vital need not only for the people of Bahrain, but for membrane desalination, putting it back on a path for growth in the region.
Souk Tleta, Algeria
- At 450,000m3/d, one of the largest UF installations serving an SWRO desalination plant in the world enables Souk Tleta to produce water of a consistently high quality, despite the challenge of wide fluctuations in seawater turbidity, which can spike up to 100 NTU.
- The shrewdness of design in the reverse osmosis system not only enables minimal use of chemical dosing – including sodium hydroxide dosing to meet the product water boron specifications – but eliminates the need for coagulants.
- Building and successfully commissioning desalination plants in Algeria has been no picnic. In a challenging environment and against the background of regional instability from the Arab Spring, Hyflux has shown considerable tenacity and mettle in making the project work.
For the project commissioned in 2011 that represents the most impressive technical achievement in the field of industrial water.
Winner: Pearl GTL, Qatar
- Veolia applied the full scope of its water technology expertise to the project, which features a panoply of treatment technologies to achieve the level of purity required to reinject tainted synthetic water back into the industrial process. The combination of pre-treatment, flotation, wax filtration, oil separation, bio-treatment, UF, RO plus brine concentration and evaporation makes this a truly unique plant in terms of its capabilities.
- Even for a company with the size and experience of Veolia, a zero-liquid discharge plant of this scale and complexity was a huge challenge to design and build. The project, costing in the region of $640 million, sets a new standard for the aspirations of the industrial wastewater treatment market.
- The challenge of designing and commissioning the plant was further compounded by the extreme size and complexity of the GTL plant. With a liquids capacity of 140,000 bpd, the sheer dimensions of the GTL complex meant that even Shell and QP were pushing new boundaries. As a result, the project had to be adapted as the client changed specifications during the design phase. Despite this, the construction team achieved a timely commissioning and a smooth initial operating period.
Distinction: Cartagena Refinery Demineralisation Plant, Spain
- The plant triumphed over a number of wastewater treatment challenges, responding to calls for a zero-discharge concept, and taking feedwater from a number of different sources. Following treatment, no water is discharged to the environment, while the brine is continuously concentrated and then redirected to an existing high salinity effluent treatment plant.
- Any interruption in the demineralised water supply to the refinery complex would mean losses of hundreds of thousands of Euros a day, meaning the plant design required faultless reliability along with adherence to unsparingly strict environmental standards.
- Few wastewater treatment projects have been built on such a busy site – Sadyt’s team had to dovetail its activities with another 6,500 workers on the refinery site at its peak. The plant was delivered on time, and with a professionalism of execution that is nothing less than outstanding.
AEP bioreactor system, USA
- The plant is the boldest demonstration to date of the benefits of using biological wastewater treatment techniques to solve the hazardous problems of selenium in wastewater, making it possible for AEP to meet exacting federal emissions regulations, while also cutting the potential of damage to the environment in a sustainable way.
- GE’s proprietary nutrient-fed microbe system offers vastly improved performance over exisiting chemical-based treatment methods, guaranteeing an elimination rate of more than 99% of selenium. The rapid rate of the removal process means it can compete effectively with the high blowdown volumes associated with flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) systems.
- The utilisation of a biological technique makes the plant self-sustaining, as it only requires periodical addition of the nutrient. Monthly backwashes can carry biomass and removed elemental selenium to clarifiers for safe disposal in landfill.
Gippsland Water Factory, Australia
- The project proves demonstrably that the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater flows can be combined in a single facility, despite the disruptive effects of the high-strength, nutrient-poor outflow from the paper mill. While the two liquid process trains are separate, sludge from the two is combined and either sold as fertiliser, or used to generate biogas, a process that supplies 20% of the energy requirements of the plant.
- A revolutionary partial oxidation step breaks new ground in the treatment of high-sulphide wastewater streams, while minimising the use of electric power, chemicals and artificial nutrients. Meanwhile, innovative chlorine removal satisfies conflicting federal and state advice on post-treatment measures prior to disposal.
- As the first project in Australia to use membrane bioreactor technology in the production of recycled water, Gippsland was a guinea-pig for the Victorian Department of Health to develop its new recycled water quality management guidelines, providing inspiration for the future of water reuse in Australia.
For the public sector organisation that has made the greatest contribution to meeting the challenges of water supply during 2011.
Winner: SA Water, Australia
- Water from the 300,000m3/d Adelaide desalination plant was delivered for the first time to the state capital in 2011. SA Water’s quick-fire decision to double the plant’s capacity means that it will now supply enough water to provide half the city’s potable water requirements, reducing the demand for water from the overstretched Murray River.
- SA Water also invested heavily in infrastructure and operations last year. Work started on a transmission project to allow two previously separate regions of Adelaide to co-ordinate water supply. At the same time, water recycling plans were extended through a scheme to supply 8,000 homes with reused water. SA Water also strengthened its operations and management ability through judicious engagement with the private sector.
- 2011 saw the culmination of SA Water’s outreach efforts in drought water management, community education and enforcement that led to a reduction in water use of around 25% over an eight-year period. The initiative helped reinforce the public’s awareness that a sustainable reduction in water consumption is a vital tool in the face of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.
Distinction: National Water Company, Saudi Arabia
- At the end of 2011, the first households were connected to the massive Jeddah wastewater network – a hugely ambitious sewage collection, transmission and treatment project that was one of a total of 66 wastewater projects commissioned in the Kingdom in 2011. NWC invested SAR4.3 billion ($1.2 billion) in wastewater infrastructure alone last year.
- The company had its most successful year to date in terms of signing contracts to sell treated sewage effluent. It now holds long-term contracts worth more than SAR4 billion ($1 billion), and the income means NWC’s goal of financial self-sufficiency is closer than ever, paving the way for a longplanned privatisation of the wastewater business.
- On the water supply side, NWC made its first tentative steps towards tariff reform – a key stumbling block to growth in a country where water is retailed out at the equivalent of just $0.03/m3. NWC’s vision for reform demonstrates that it is not only prepared to spend money up front, but that it is fully engaged in creating a sustainable future for the Saudi Arabian water sector.
Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company
- ADSSC extended its successful working relationship with the private sector in 2011, with the commissioning of two major wastewater treatment BOTs in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain. On the operations and maintenance side, three contracts were awarded in the last year, covering almost the entire publicly owned network. A switch to targeted performance-based contracts rewards excellent performance while ensuring value for money for the client.
- Spending on the massive Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme, which reached its height in 2011 with the award of three of the six contracts involved, will improve performance in the wastewater collection network. The switch to a deeptunnel gravity-driven system has already allowed the decommissioning of 36 major pumping stations, dramatically reducing costs and energy usage by ADSSC.
- While sewage treatment levels are already at 100% in Abu Dhabi, the demand for irrigated water has not succeeded in matching the rise in treated effluent flows as a result of a rising population. ADSSC is addressing this by identifying new industrial and commercial customers for treated sewage effluent, potentially bringing in new high-value sources of revenue, and reducing run-off into the marine environment.
Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water)
- The Four Major Rivers Restoration Project, completed in 2011, is a $20 billion mega-plan which saw the dredging of nearly 1,000km of the Han, Nakdong, Geum and Yeongsan Rivers, along with dambuilding, wetland restoration and riverbank reinforcement. The improved flow through the country’s river system frees up more water for supply to towns and cities, and reduces the risk of devastating floods.
- The construction of the world’s largest tidal power plant significantly reduces the energy use associated with the production of potable water in Korea. The Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station cost a total of $500 million over its 6-year construction period, and generates 254MW of clean energy – the equivalent of a 315,000m3 a year reduction in CO2 emissions.
- Five water treatment plants were brought up to five-star level under the American Water Works Association certification scheme in 2011, while three new WTPs were constructed. Nine of the 12 water districts in the country have now been upgraded under the $1.5 billion scheme.
For the deal, contracted in 2011, which has made the biggest contribution to the advancement of public-private partnerships in the international water sector.
Winner: El Realito, Mexico
- It is the first time that a privately funded Mexican water project has featured a tailored cashflow waterfall system involving three different trusts. This provides an extra level of financial security to both the public and the private partners, and will act as a blueprint for future Mexican water BOTs.
- The complexity of the financing itself was compounded by the sheer number of stakeholders involved. Despite this, the key parties skilfully negotiated their way to financial close, barely pausing for breath even when the ruling state government changed midway through the financing talks.
- The investment portion of the tariffs will be covered by the state government through a payroll tax, while the operational part of the tariff will be paid with the earnings from a water supply contract with Interapas, the water utility serving the Mexican city of San Luis Potosí. A $4 million credit line extended by Banorte provides extra comfort in the case of a tariff shortfall.
Distinction: Mundaring, Australia
- The Mundaring financing was a significant procurement milestone for the Water Corporation, marking the first privately financed water project ever undertaken in Western Australia.
- The increased refinancing risk inherent in the short-term debt package was overshadowed by the client’s commendably pragmatic approach in negotiating realistic terms in the wake of the financial crisis.
- The deal was closed within five months of the preferred bidder being selected, and has clear potential to act as a blueprint for the procurement of future greenfield water assets in Western Australia.
Muharraq WWTP financing
- With financing documents signed less than two months after the lifting of Bahrain’s State of National Safety, the deal proved that private finance is still a serious and viable option for building infrastructure at a time when the financial and political climate in the Middle East is seen as more hostile to lenders than at any point in recent history. The move provided a much-needed boost to a moribund regional project finance market.
- Pricing on the 22-year loan was negotiated in the mid-200s over Libor, comparable to what would have been expected before the financial crisis and the Arab Spring. The pricing will act as a benchmark for future BOTs in the region.
- Innovative use of export credit turned a very tricky financial prospect into an unqualified success. As well as providing a significant lump of direct funding, the Export-Import Bank of Korea backed part of the commercial tranche, soothing the fears of investors during a difficult financial period.
- It is the first time since Ashkelon in 2003 that the financing for a major desalination project in Israel has featured a local currency tranche. When the project went out to bid, international banks lacked the capacity to extend competitive long-term finance, and the engagement of local players not only resulted in significant savings in terms of debt service, but will minimise refinancing risk going forward.
- The developer consortium took advantage of low short-term interest rates to reduce financing costs during the initial concession period. Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi will have the option to syndicate out the shekel-denominated portion of the loan when the short-term loans are replaced by long-term debt linked to Israeli inflation early in the operating period.
- Plans to co-locate an independent power plant at the Soreq site gave the desal financing a unique risk profile. The parties are to be congratulated on successfully negotiating the power and water risks, whilst keeping the desal financing on a limited recourse basis.
For the water reuse project that represents the most significant achievement for the industry in 2011.
Winner: Brightwater WWTP, USA
- Brightwater offers ample evidence of how membrane bioreactors have become the technology of choice when it comes to major municipal wastewater treatment plants. ZeeWeed has come to dominate the world of MBR wastewater treatment, and the Brightwater installation is the largest MBR reference in the world to date.
- The plant employs a unique split-flow treatment system, with the MBR units treating 98% of the annual flow, while a parallel chemically enhanced primary clarification (CEPC) process is able to handle further capacity in peak wet weather flows. The two-stream process comfortably accommodates the extreme wet weather of the US Northwest.
- The project provides a new benchmark in sustainable planning and resource management in the US. The treated water distribution system was integrated with outflow tunnelling to reduce the project’s footprint. The use of advanced automation, process containment and an automated restart function following power outages means it can be operated remotely.
Distinction: SAFI RO plant, Ajman, UAE
- The plant is a trailblazer for the commercial sale and reuse of treated water in the Middle East, ranking as the first privately owned reverse osmosis plant to treat wastewater for use by private companies. It proves that serious improvements can be made to wastewater assets without recourse to direct subsidy from central bodies.
- The plant will operate on a full cost recovery basis, with both capital and operating budgets covered by the income from selling polished water – a positive sign in a region where water subsidies have made sustainable investment in assets difficult. Plans are already in place to extend the franchise with similar plants elsewhere.
- Customers were easy to find for the polished water, with membrane-treated TSE offering a cheaper alternative to desalinated water for industrial customers. The involvement of the private sector gives a guarantee on treatment quality, and a commercial contract agreement provides extra reassurance for buyers.
Marrakech WWTP, Morocco
- As recently as 2005, Morocco treated just 10% of its municipal effluent, with an estimated 2,000 hectares of agricultural land being irrigated with raw sewage. The installation of the Marrakech plant brings wastewater treatment penetration in Morocco’s fourth-largest city up to 100%, easing the serious problem of pollution in the city’s waterways.
- The project was the first integrated WWTP in the country to combine wastewater and sludge treatment with biogas recovery for electricity and heat cogeneration. The cogeneration unit provides up to 60% of the plant’s energy needs, reducing its carbon footprint – and demand on the country’s already-stretched electricity grid.
- The successful procurement and construction of the plant – which started treating wastewater in December 2011 – made significant progress towards attaining Morocco’s national target of 60% effluent treatment by 2020, and provide a blueprint for other projects in the region.
Old Ford Water Recycling Plant, UK
- As the largest WRP built in the UK to date, the plant will serve as a benchmark for future water recycling plants in the increasingly water-scarce south of England. Once the Olympic Games have finished, the site could provide the first full-scale test of wastewater reuse for non-potable domestic purposes as the site is redeveloped.
- Successful delivery of the project was particularly impressive given the location of the site, which lies partly in a nature reserve adjacent to the huge development site for the Olympics. The efficient layout had to take account of 57 planning restrictions relating to noise, odour and architecture. The ability to remotely operate the plant from Thames Water’s headquarters 40 miles away in Reading enabled a further reduction in its physical footprint.
- In parallel with the development of the plant, Thames Water worked with the UK government to establish the first regulatory guidelines for the commercial reuse of treated wastewater in the country.
For the company which has made the most significant contribution in the field of water technology over the past year.
- Nalco’s unique 3D Trasar technology has the ability to measure and control events in real time, saving money and the environment by correctly calibrating chemical dosing. Having introduced the technology to the cooling tower and boiler water systems, Nalco rolled it out to the membrane market in 2011, and has big plans to do the same in the wastewater arena.
- Not all mergers are about cost-cutting. The fusion with Ecolab is all about increased growth and impact: Nalco’s automation capabilities have the potential to revolutionise water and energy consumption within Ecolab’s core sanitising business, whilst helping to redefine the way emerging market economies engage with the waterenergy nexus.
- Nalco’s industrial process monitoring business, Nalco 360, was introduced a little over two years ago. The accumulated data is now enabling the company to offer both internal and external benchmarking services – thus creating added value for its growing client base.
- What can’t be measured can’t be managed. In the face of increasingly stringent regulations affecting water utilities right around the world, Xylem’s visionary leaders built a $300 million analytics platform from nothing, topping it off by winning a fierce bidding war for prize asset YSI Inc. last July.
- It is not all about acquiring intellectual property. One of Xylem’s first moves as an independent company was to ink an agreement with GE to distribute Zenon ultrafiltration membranes. The move means the company can now offer a fully comprehensive wastewater treatment portfolio to complement its leading position in wastewater pumps.
- Xylem’s spin-off from ITT gave rise to the largest publicly traded water pure-play by revenues. The renewed focus on water will enable Xylem to be more responsive in terms of innovation: in 2011 alone, it launched a new energy-saving wastewater pump and a non-clog diesel-driven dewatering pump, whilst revolutionising its Spektron UV system.
- 2011 was the year in which Bluewater Bio really stepped up to the plate in terms of putting its proprietary hybrid activated sludge technology in front of global decision-makers. It signed a licencing agreement with Infilco Degrémont which will enable it to harness the vast retrofitting potential in the North American market, and secured a key reference with Severn Trent which should open up the largescale UK market. It also won a $20 million contract to expand and upgrade the Tubli WWTP in Bahrain.
- Bluewater Bio proved last year that it is in pole position in the race to roll up independently owned filtration companies. Significantly, the acquisition of FilterClear in September will kick-start the company’s entry into the water reuse and desalination pre-treatment markets.
- Since delisting in 2007, Bluewater Bio has had little trouble attracting private capital to fund its ambitious growth plans. Now EBITDA profitable, it has continued to attract interest from top-flight investment vehicles in 2011, securing an $8 million cash injection from Liberation Capital, and paving the way for its next major funding round in early 2012.
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies
- Phosphorus is a critical component of fertiliser – and a non-renewable resource. Ostara’s nutrient recovery technology can remove up to 90% of phosphorus and 20% of nitrogen from effluent streams, stemming downstream pollution and trimming plant operating costs by eliminating struvite buildup.
- The harvested struvite is sold commercially as fertiliser, thus closing the nutrient loop and helping to reduce the environmental impact of industrial phosphorus production. Customers can hope to recoup their initial expenditure within a three to seven-year timeframe.
- 2011 was the year Ostara truly broke onto the international scene. From a small reference base in the US, the company has built considerable momentum, winning projects in Canada and the UK. Regulatory drivers mean it is well positioned for further European growth, as both municipal and industrial water users come under increasing pressure to mitigate their environmental footprint.
For the water company that has made the most significant contribution to the development of the international water sector during 2011.
Winner: CH2M Hill
- 75% of CH2M Hill’s water-related revenues are generated in North America. For the firm to be taken seriously as a global water player, it needed to diversify, and the 2011 acquisition of Halcrow provided the perfect platform for growth outside its traditional markets.
- CH2M Hill’s innovative WaterMatch initiative harnesses the power of social networking to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent by industry and agriculture. The website, which operates on a non-commercial basis, uses geospatial mapping to connect water generators with water users in real time, thus promoting water stewardship in a unique new way.
- The inertia of many public policy officials in the US is the source of much frustration for forward-thinking leaders in the private sector. CH2M Hill’s partnership with the University of Kansas, signed in August last year, is a proactive approach towards educating emerging local government leaders in new and costeffective strategies for service delivery.
- The design-build bias of Degrémont’s business has always meant that its revenues are lumpy. The signing of an €840 million 10-year O&M contract in Adelaide and the securing of preferred bidder status on a similar contract in Perth last year show that the company is serious about promoting its credentials as a services business. It will also help to increase revenue visibility going forward.
- The rebalancing did not come at the expense of Degrémont’s core designbuild business: the firm continued to win landmark contracts in 2011, securing deals to build a 350,000m3/d municipal WWTP in Prague and a 50,000m3/d industrial WWTP serving the Wuhan Chemical Industry Park in China.
- Degrémont’s plant expertise is backed up by a vast internal pool of technological and R&D knowledge. In 2011, the company used data from its unique plant reference portfolio to develop a series of online tools to help clients reduce opex and assess GHG emissions. It was also awarded a patent for its iBIO process, which removes selenium from flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) wastewater streams, and continues to develop new solutions in the field of medical water, aided by the acquisition of ultra-pure water specialist AmeriWater last June.
- 2011 was the year Abengoa’s water business really took control of its own destiny. The group bought out minority shareholders in Befesa, and rationalised its water activities into two complementary divisions. The development, finance and O&M expertise has been brought together in Abengoa Water (formerly Befesa Water), while the EPC business is now housed in Abeima. It is an arrangement that benefits customer and contractor alike.
- The Zapotillo project in Mexico is Abengoa’s largest water project to date, involving the design, construction and 25-year operation of a 328,230m3/d water treatment plant and a 139km pipeline. The Abengoa group companies clubbed together to present an irresistable bid which came in significantly lower than that of its nearest competitor.
- Abengoa cemented its reputation as a desalination pioneer in 2011, winning its first BOT project in Ghana, signing an MOU to develop up to 800,000m3/d of new capacity on Changxing Island in China, finalising the construction of its first brackish water desalination plant in Texas, and commissioning the Hounaine plant in Algeria. Its 40-strong research team continues to engage in cutting-edge R&D activities, designing a pilot remineralisation system last year, and filing patents for desalination, low-pressure membrane and sludge treatment applications.
GS Engineering and Construction
- Up until last year, 87% of the group’s overseas revenues came from the Middle East. The Inima acquisition not only provides GS with a ready reference base of projects in Europe and the Americas – it brings with it a wealth of expertise in international operations contracts to add to its core EPC proficiency.
- In 2011, GS E&C’s contract wins at home included a 21,000m3/d underground water reuse facility serving a housing development in Korea, and a 27,000m3/d overground WWTP with a unique helical superstructure. It is the ability to overcome these sorts of construction challenges that will make the ‘new’ GS a fearsome competitor on the international stage.
- A technology partnership with LG Electronics and access to competitive funding from Korea’s EXIM bank will give GS the edge when it comes to pitching for new business in the BOT (build-operatetransfer) market. The group deserves a gold star for its vision.