Major water contract to get started in Chongqing, China

Nov. 12, 2002
Gerard Mestrallet, SUEZ Chairman and C.E.O., traveled to Chongqing, China, for the startup of the water contract signed by an Ondeo subsidiary. The joint venture started operations on November 1 following a ceremony with the Secretary of the Communist Party of Chongqing Huang Zhen Dong, Chongqing's Mayor Wang Hongju, Deputy Mayor in charge for the city development Huang Qi Fan, Yves-Thibault de Silguy, SUEZ Executive Vice President, and the French Ambassador to China, Jean-Pierre Lafon.

PARIS, France, Nov. 12, 2002 -- Gerard Mestrallet, SUEZ Chairman and C.E.O., recently traveled to Chongqing, China, for the startup of the water contract signed by an Ondeo subsidiary (Sino-French holding).

The joint venture started operations on November 1 following an opening ceremony in the presence of the Secretary of the Communist Party of Chongqing Huang Zhen Dong, Chongqing's Mayor Wang Hongju, Deputy Mayor in charge for the city development Huang Qi Fan, Yves-Thibault de Silguy, SUEZ Executive Vice President, and the French Ambassador to China, Jean-Pierre Lafon.

Chongqing is the world's largest municipal area with a population of 30 million people, according to SUEZ.

SUEZ has been present in China for several years through its subsidiary, Sino-French Holdings, in partnership with the Hong Kong New World group (17 joint-ventures to date).

The Chongqing water project is remarkable in that the joint venture is 60%-owned by Sino-French, and 40% by the municipality. It's the first time a foreign company is authorized to take full majority in such a joint venture.

Before the project was started up, Mestrallet served as an advisor in the International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai and the Seoul International Advisory Council.

At the invitation of the Mayor of Chongqing, Mestrallet participated in the "Chongqing Forum for new century international entrepreneurs," before a group of 500 business leaders from the Chongqing region, with Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin one of China's four autonomous cities directly depending from Beijing.

At the same time, Gerard Mestrallet held a working session devoted to developing Group activities in the region with SUEZ Environment senior managers in Asia.

The Chongqing contract represents a total investment of EUR 150 million to be spread over the contract's fifty-year life. It is the first comprehensive drinking water distribution concession in China involving water production, operation, and distribution on through to end-users. The concession covers the northern section of the city, including fast-developing industrial zones especially the international airport area.

SUEZ is a services group, with a staff of 190,000 employees at work in 130 countries, serving industrial, individual, and municipal customers. SUEZ is an international player in each of its businesses: water related services, waste services outside the U.S., energy groups, and energy services in Europe. It generated 2001 revenues of EUR 42.4 billion, 87% of which originated in Europe and North America.

More information is available on Internet: http://www.suez.com

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