Mundaring contract establishes PPP in Western Australia

The recently awarded design-build-operate (DBO) Mundaring Water Treatment Plant project in Australia has been labelled as the first public-private partnership of its type in Western Australia.

The Helena Water consortium, comprising Acciona Agua, United Utilities Australia, Brookfield Multiplex and Royal Bank of Scotland secured the contract as part of a 35 year concession.

It will have an initial capacity of 165,000 m3/day and will supply the Goldfield and Agricultural Water System, including Kalgoorlie in the State of Western Australia.

Bill Marmion, Government Water Minister in Western Australia, said: "The consortium, which was one of two shortlisted for the competitive process by the Water Corporation, brings together a group with extensive experience and success in delivering various water environmental infrastructure projects and a very strong balance sheet."

This is Acciona Agua's second major contract in Australia following the design and current build of the Port Stanvac desalination plant in Adelaide, which it will also operate.

As well as water, the company also has 258 MW capacity of wind energy fully operational in the country.

PUB opts for B&V to help expand Changi wastewater facility

As part of the expansion to the Changi Water Reclamation Plant, Singapore's national water agency, PUB, selected Black & Veatch (B&V) to provide consultancy services valued at S$2.2 million.

The expansion involves retrofitting an additional membrane filtration treatment process to the treatment facility to increase its treatment capacity up to 60,000 m3/day of reclaimed water.

Already one of largest treatment facilities of its kind, the Changi Water Reclamation Plant's total capacity is 800,000 m3/day.

B&V said the membrane filtration expansion will observe sustainability best practices, occupying a small footprint within the existing site. Equipment will be integrated with existing structures where feasible and incur relatively limited capital costs as a result.

Ralph Eberts, executive vice president in Black & Veatch's global water business, said: "The result will be even greater treatment flexibility to what is already regarded as one of the most advanced wastewater treatment facilities in the world."

Mumbai airport contracts AECOM/Aquatech new partnership

An agreement has been signed between AECOM's design-build business in the UK and Aquatech Systems Asia, for the use of biological treatment technology for industrial and municipal applications in the Indian wastewater treatment market.

The partnership will see AECOM's Cyclic Activated Sludge System being distributed and a contract has already been signed with the award of an integrated waste treatment and recycle-reuse project at Mumbai International Airport, which will feature CASS (Cyclic Activated Sludge System) technology.

A Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) technology, the process uses a combination of biological selector and variable volume reactor process. The process operates with a single sludge in a single reactor basin to accomplish both biological treatment and solids-liquid separation. The partnership said CASS SBR technology installations to date have included capacities in excess of 150,000m3/day.

Investment programme to boost water supply in Vietnam

A $2.8 billion programme has been set out to improve clean water access for three million families in Vietnam, including half a million poor households who will receive their own piped water connection for the first time.

The programme has been backed to the tune of nearly $1 billion by the Asian Development Bank and supported by the Government of Vietnam.

At present, four in every ten families living in Vietnam largest cities are not connected to a central water supply system, and only one in three towns have any form of piped water supply.

Many piped water systems in urban areas urgently need upgrades, with as much as 30% to 40% of water lost before it reaches the end consumer, due foremost to leaky pipes. Water loss contributes to intermittent service from low pressure.

One goal of the water investment program is to reduce water loss in urban areas to less than 20% by 2020, bringing Vietnam's cities in line with affluent Asian cities, such as Seoul.

"When four out of every ten liters of water is lost before it comes out of the tap, this is essentially pouring cash down the drain," said Ayumi Konishi, ADB's country director for Vietnam. "Making an upfront investment to plug the leaks gives consumers a more dependable water supply, enhances public health, and provides water companies with significant cost savings."

The program will help water companies improve and expand clean water supply in some of Vietnam's largest cities through the installation of new pipelines and the repair and extension of existing networks. In addition to infrastructure improvements, the program will enhance the operational management and commercial viability of water companies.

ADB is providing $138 million for the program's first project in Ho Chi Minh City, where many poor households are not yet connected to piped water systems, and are paying almost twice the official water tariff.

"Poor water coverage hits poor families the hardest, and this investment program will benefit these families most," said Konishi. "When poor families are provided with piped water connections it measurably boosts their income and improves their well-being."

The Ho Chi Minh City project, which will be implemented by the Saigon Water Corporation, will improve pressure and coverage for over half a million city residents, and provide almost 20,000 families with their first household water connections.

The project is expected to increase water availability in Ho Chi Minh City to over 64 million cubic meters per annum over the next decade.

The nationwide water investment program is a cornerstone of the country's efforts to attain 90% piped water coverage by 2020, with universal coverage targeted by 2025.

In Brief

CHINA: RO market continues to show growth

CHINA: Toray has secured two orders to supply reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to seawater desalination plants Qingdao (Shandong) and Caofeidian (Tangshan, Hebei) in China. The two facilities will produce a combined total of 150,000m3/day. The Qingdao facility is scheduled to start operations in 2011, currently under construction by Befesa and has been touted as the "largest RO membrane desalination plant in China". Drinking water will be supplied to 7.5 million residents in the city. Water produced from the Caofeidian facility will mainly be used as industrial water in the industrial development zone.

GHANA: Befesa secures 60,000 m3/day desalination contract

A US$110 million contract has been signed between the Government of Ghana and Spanish firm Befesa Agua. Signed by the minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alban Bagbin, the reported 60,000 m3/day desalination facility will supply drinking water to the Teshie-Nungua and neighboring communities.

CHINA: Hyflux to develop wastewater treatment plant in Zunzi, Guizhou

Hyflux, through its subsidiary in China, will develop a wastewater treatment plant to treat up to 150,00m3/day for Zunyi City in north Guizhou province, China. The build-own-transfer (BOT) arrangement will see the company operate and maintain the plant on a 30-year concession. The project is scheduled to complete construction in the second half of 2012 and investment cost is estimated at approximately RMB 200 million, which will be funded through internal resources. The two main districts of Zunyi City have a combined population of about 800,000 people, and the whole region has a population of approximately seven million.

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