Acciona delivers Spanish sunshine from tough 2016

With multiple financial results being released, it's clear that 2016 has been a tough year for global water project developers.

Acciona delivers Spanish sunshine from tough 2016

With multiple financial results being released, it’s clear that 2016 has been a tough year for global water project developers.

Singapore firm Hyflux managed to double its revenue but increased domestic electricity costs meant company profits declined 91% to S$4.8 million from the previous year.

Only weeks before and Spanish environmental services group FCC reported that revenues in its Aqualia water division dropped 2.3% since the previous year.

In France, revenues in Suez’s water division were reported down from €4.8 billion to €4.7 billion, with Veolia’s water revenues down to €11.1 billion, from €11.4 billion the previous year.

Meanwhile Spanish firm Acciona Agua appears to be one of the major project developers to come away from 2016 unscathed.

The group reported a 57% boost in revenue for its water division to a record €708 million last year.

Acciona’s financials were boosted significantly from the global consolidation of ATLL, Barcelona’s bulk water concession, together with two desalination projects in Qatar and water treatment plant in the Philippines.

This led to a three-fold increase in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) to €119 million.

Oz graphene partnership aims to disrupt filtration

Australian SMEs Clean TeQ and Ionic Industries have joined forces with Monash University to scale up graphene-based water and wastewater filtration technology.

Graphene oxide will be used in the new wastewater filtration products with the aim to dramatically improve performance and reduce current energy use.

The research and development team behind the project recently won funding through the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) program and aim to deliver working products in the next two to three years. Hailed as a wonder-material, graphene is a lattice of carbon atoms so thin it’s considered to be two-dimensional, providing “incredible performance characteristics and range of potential applications”, according to the companies.

It was in 2016 when lead researcher Associate Professor Mainak Majumder from Monash University and his team perfected a technique in 2016 that could create graphene filters on an industrial scale.

“Graphene has special properties which could disrupt current commercial filtration techniques and significantly reduce the energy required to filter wastewater,” he said.

The plan is to maket the filter to developing countries.

Veolia teams up for water retail market

Veolia and Scottish Water Business Stream will team up to create a market offering for when the water retail market begins next month.

In April businesses across England will be able to choose which water supplier they use, rather than the default provider in their area.

This will enable 1.2 million businesses and public bodies in England to go shopping for new suppliers, much like consumers can for their gas and electricity providers.

Business Stream has previous experience from the water retail market, which opened up to businesses in Scotland after the Water Services (Scotland) Act 2005 was established.

However, the opening of the residential retail water market in England is subject to a further decision from the government - Ofwat has submitted its assessment to the government of the potential costs and benefits.

Brazil utility privatisation to unlock Rio recovery LOAN

Following an assembly vote state water and wastewater operator CEDAE will finally be privatised after years of discussion.

Authorization was passed, with 41 votes in favour against 28 votes opposing, to put the struggling water utility up for sale.

The decision to privatise CEDAE has been controversial, sparking employee protests and clashes with police. For Rio, the move would unlock a BRL3.5 (US$1.1 billion) federal government loan to help with public service recovery.

Rio city and state have been facing financial trouble due to a costly infrastructure spend for the Olympics and downturn of the oil industry.

Humberto Lemos, president of the Sintsama union in Rio, reportedly told the Globo news website that there won’t be a shortage of water for the population.

India to roll out 100 small scale fluoride removal plants with AdEdge

AdEdge India has been awarded a contract to design, construct and commission 100 water treatment plants for fluoride removal in the State of Bihar. The 8 m3/hour turnkey systems will be installed in the communities of Banka, Dhuraiya, and Katoriya.

This marks the first fluoride water treatment project for AdEdge India having previously participated in an arsenic demonstration project in the State of West Bengal. The fluoride treatment plants will use the company’s AD74 activated alumina media in the process.

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