GCC Targets Spur Greenfield Reuse Opportunities

On 17 February 2014 Muscat, Oman-based utility Haya Water (Oman Wastewater Services Company SAOC) outlined its upcoming wastewater plant tenders. As part of a US$4.7 billion infrastructure plan, Haya Water intends to connect 84% of the population to a wastewater service network by 2020, up from 30% today.

Namibia Water Undermined by Commodity Volatility

With the announcement on 12 February 2014 that Paris-based AREVA SA would not be selling the 55,000 m3/d desalination plant at its Trekkopje, Namibia uranium mine, Namibia’s water supply situation has been uprooted at a time of prolonged drought. The Namibia water utility, NamWater, is no closer to acquiring the facility and the approximately 17,000 m3/d it sources from the plant to meet municipal and industrial demands is at significant risk.

TAQA Powers Deeper into Water

On 4 February Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) to develop a 136,383 m3/day SWRO plant in Al Zawra, Emirate of Ajman. The project is slated for completion in 2017 and will supply drinking water to the Northern Emirates.

Kubota Goes Vertical With Energy Recovery

In January 2014 Kubota Corporation recommitted its plans to deploy an Energy Recovery Device (ERD) for the desalination market. Complementing its existing pumps and water treatment capabilities, the ERD is an isobaric technology design similar to those provided by Energy Recovery Inc. and Flowserve. Kubota expects commercial release in first half 2014.

Texas, A Proving Ground for Direct Potable Reuse

On 27 January 2014, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) began testing reclaimed water in Wichita Falls, Texas. The 23,000 m3/d system is an emergency measure to supplement reservoir supplies heavily depleted by the on-going Texas drought.

Toshiba, Foreign Players Partner for India Water

On 7 January 2014, Toshiba Corporation agreed to acquire a 26% stake in UEM India Private Limited, an environmental services company based in Noida, India that specializes in turnkey water and wastewater treatment sectors. UEM will continue to be majority (51%) owned by India Value Fund (IVFA), which acquired its stake in 2009 for US$19 million. Toshiba’s purchase has been estimated to be US$20 million. Toshiba’s role in the water sector has traditionally been in manufacturing electrical systems for water supply and sewer facilities. The company has also expanded the business into overseas markets, including China and Indonesia and has an R&D facility in Singapore.

Mahagenco Turns to Water Reuse in India

Maharashtra State Power Generation Corporation reconfirmed on 18 October 2013 the timeline for completion of a sewage treatment and water reuse plant that will supply cooling and ash handling water to two new 660 MW units at its Koradi coal power station. Mahagenco’s Koradi and Khaperkheda plants are located in Nagpur, northeastern Maharashtra state. The project, now six years under development, will be a first for a thermal power plant in India to rely exclusively on reused water for cooling and ash handling. Mahagenco’s intends to complete trial operations at Koradi by early 2015.

Eskom Challenged on Water-Energy Tightrope

On 18 September 2013, South African state utility Eskom reaffirmed delays to the construction of the 4.8 GW Medupi coal power station located in the Waterberg district of Limpopo province, moving its deadline from December 2013 to second half of 2014 for commissioning the first turbine units. The plant already missed several key milestones in 2011-2012 due to labor unrest, faulty welding, and systems defects for controls and instrumentation and is facing additional water supply constraints from the outset.

IWPs Eyeing Chile Desalination Sector

On 3 October 2013, Chile-based AES Gener announced plans to issue debt to support increased investment in its core power business activities and an expansion into water desalination. AES Gener, an IPP, 71% owned by US-based AES Corporation with a presence in Chile, Argentina, and Colombia, is the largest thermal generator and second largest electricity generator in Chile, operating 21% of the country’s total generating capacity with 2,858 MW thermal and 271 MW hydro power.

Arab Spring Reality Reflected in Water Buildout

On 20 August 2013 Jordan’s Cabinet announced it would move ahead with the US$980M Red Sea desalination project. The government intends to float a tender before the end of 2013 to initiate project development, which is to provide with approximately 550,000 m3/d of desalinated water. Included in the project scope will be to transfer the water to Israel to defray some of the project costs and to discharge brine into the Dead Sea. It is expected that the project will be organized on a BOT or BOO basis. The Jordan government expects to secure US$300-400 million in grants to finance the project.