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Water Company of the Year

For the water company that made the most significant contribution to the development of the international water sector in 2020.

SKion Water

What is it?

The water-oriented investment platform of German entrepreneur Susanne Klatten, with global revenues of €700 million.

What has it done?

2020 was the year it all came together for SKion Water as a group. By buying out the remaining shareholders in Ovivo and Paques and complementing its pharma offering with the purchase of Letzner, SKion Water is increasingly able to leverage synergies across its global portfolio. Last year it proved time and again that its palette of complete solutions for blue-chip industrial and municipal customers not only makes economic sense, but benefits the environment, whether through micropollutant removal, methane reduction, or tackling the combined sewer overflow challenge in North America.

What makes it special?

SKion Water has judged the balance between entrepreneurialism and synergy to perfection. Its portfolio companies enjoy a high degree of independence, while the group structure enables them to work together seamlessly to deliver comprehensive solutions to key industry sectors.

As an anchor investor in Emerald Technology Ventures’ global water innovation impact fund, the group can now source a much broader range of opportunities for collaborative solutions across the globe. Furthermore, by positioning itself as an end-to-end water and wastewater solutions provider in the pharma value chain, it has expertly captured the zeitgeist of the vaccination age.


The environmental imperative lies at the heart of SKion Water’s commercial offering. Its vacuum degassing technology reduces GHGs by preventing the escape of methane from sludge digestate, while its solutions for micropollutant removal and combined sewer overflow treatment significantly reduce the need for large-scale civil works. In the battle for net zero, SKion Water’s green heart beats more strongly than ever.



What is it?

A global water and wastewater specialist operating through three main business lines: Design-build, concessions, and specialty chemicals.

What has it done?

A tough year for new projects in 2020 failed to intimidate Metito, which scored huge successes in both infrastructure delivery and investment. At the same time as scooping up a host of the most prominent water projects in major MENA countries, the company tapped up new opportunities in a bold continuation of its arms-open approach to new or developing markets.

What makes it special?

A frantically busy year for Metito’s design-build business saw it push the boundaries of project scale, design, and performance. Floating desalination barges for shipping client Bahri and a solar-driven desal plant finalised on a breakneck schedule at the Neom development were accompanied by large-scale membrane references in Saudi Arabia and Egypt as well as colossal wastewater projects. In 2020 the company proved beyond all doubt that it can take on and deliver the largest and most complex water construction contracts around.

Metito’s concessions wing blazed a trail for private finance in both established and developing markets last year. Financial close on Saudi Arabia’s first independent sewage treatment plant at Dammam planted a flag for wastewater PPPs in the Middle East’s largest water market, providing a blueprint for the future of sewage infrastructure in the Kingdom.


Meanwhile, concessions work carved open new markets for Metito, while offering countries and utilities new models to realise major changes on the ground. The completion of a first-of-its-kind PPP project in Kigali, Rwanda, secured almost 40% of potable water requirements for the whole country, while a groundbreaking wastewater PPP deal in Zrenjanin (Serbia), provided a triumphant entry point into Europe.