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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 2016.

ACCIONA Agua

What is it?

The water services arm of Spanish construction giant Acciona, with expertise as an EPC contractor and a long-term operator of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

What has it done?

Acciona Agua was active everywhere in 2016. When it wasn’t ploughing new furrows in South-East Asia, it was commissioning groundbreaking desalination plants in the Middle East, securing finance in the Canadian drinking water sector, beefing up its presence in Latin America, and pushing the technology envelope in North Africa and Europe.

What makes it special?

Acciona’s appetite for the Asia Pacific market seemed to ebb in the wake of two major Australian contracts in 2009–2011. Last year, it stormed back into the region, winning a €112 million contract to deliver a 150,000m³/d potable water plant serving 6 million people in Metro Manila, and bouncing back into Oz with a record-breaking MBBR contract.

Acciona Agua’s reach in the water sector extends far beyond the traditional role of a plant supplier. In 2016, it embraced the mdart water revolution with an automation and remote control solution for four water distribution networks in Morocco, placed itself at the heart of the circular economy by building a decentralised reuse pilot as part of the award-winning Watintech project, all while co-ordinating the European Commission-backed INTEGROIL initiative to recover water from waste streams in the oil and gas sector.

 

Ten years after being formed out of the merger of Infilco, Ondagua and Pridesa, Acciona Agua has built an enviable global presence through strategic expansion and shrewd collaboration. No one did more to promote the case for private water last year.

Distinction

Kurita Water Industries

What is it?

A Japanese water chemicals manufacturer and advanced water systems supplier renowned for its unique ability to cross-sell its facility and chemicals offerings to industrial clients.

What has it done?

2016 was the year in which Kurita finally joined the ranks of the global water giants, with long anticipated breakthroughs on multiple fronts outside Japan. As it emerges onto the international scene, it is polishing its new persona as a leader of the emerging Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) scene.

What makes it special?

Having successfully increased its European revenues more than tenfold in just one year following the acquisition of BK Giulini’s water chemicals business in 2015, Kurita proved last year that this was merely the start of an ambitious internationalisation strategy, announcing the takeover of American chemicals manufacturer Fremont Industries in December.

Not content with expanding its sales network, Kurita also led a $3.5 million Series A funding round in US water data analytics start-up Apana last year. Apana’s LoRa-based analytics offering will allow Kurita to optimise its after-sales service revenues, whilst complementing its own cloud-hosted monitoring platform – launched globally in 2016.

 

Encouraged by its first successful build-own-operate contract for a foreign client (in South Korea), Kurita announced a bold plan to roll out micro-BOOs through its new Kurita Water Supply Service offering – launched in August 2016 – and to deploy the model outside of its core microelectronics client base. Up to JPY50 billion ($440 million) of annual BOO capex is contemplated going forward.

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