Companies

France’s Suez bidding for water treatment projects

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 24, 2018

Jean-Louis Chaussade, Suez’s Chief Executive Officer

Plans desalination projects in Chennai & sewage treatment plants in Mumbai



Paris-based Suez Environnement is bidding for a number of water and wastewater treatment projects in India.

It also plans to make a big play in municipal solid waste management and waste-to-energy projects here.

Suez plans to bid for two large desalination projects in Chennai — of 400 million litres a day (mld) and 150 mld capacity — and sewage treatment plants in Mumbai.

It is one of the pre-qualified bidders in Mumbai.

However, Suez says municipal body funds are a problem and these projects will take off only after the Centre steps in and implements the modified urban renewal mission project.

The €14.3-billion French multinational recently integrated all its businesses under a unified Suez brand. It has been in India since the 1980s.

The India operations constitute a small share of its overall revenues, which the company hopes will be at least 10 times more than what it is today.

Company officials declined to provide details of the size of its India operations.

Addressing a select group of Indian journalists from Paris through a video and audio conference, Suez’s Chief Executive Officer Jean-Louis Chaussade said: “Today, India constitutes a very small share and our expectation is that it will grow.” France accounts for a third of its business, with the rest of Europe and international operations accounting for a third each.

Chaussade believes India and China, each with a billion-plus population and growing, will see a huge demand for cleaner water and increased waste water treatment facilities as also municipal solid waste management.

Increasing urbanisation will see the need for more efficient water distribution and collection systems, and waste recycling.

This is why Suez feels it can achieve its ambition of growing its India business 10 times in the next five years.

Suez has nearly 40 brands such as SITA, Degremont, United Water and Ondeo Industrial Solutions, all of which were recently unified under the Suez brand.

Its projects in India include a 12-year concession contract with the Delhi Jal Board to convert intermittent to continuous 24X7 water supply, reduce non-revenue water to 15 per cent and improve customer services and an eight-year contract with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board for reducing un-accounted water in the central part of the city. It also has a five-year contract for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai for a water distribution improvement programme.

Shyam J Bhan, Managing Director, Suez Environnement India, said the company wanted to grow its municipal solid waste management programme and use the waste to generate electricity.

A handful of sewage treatment plants, ranging from 435 mld to 800 mld in capacity and up to €200 million in value, has been planned for Mumbai and Suez was one of the pre-qualified bidders.

One of the problems with these large projects was that the municipal bodies were strapped for funds and these projects would take off only if the Centre stepped in and quickly sanctioned funds under the modified urban renewal mission.

Bhan said Suez hoped to play an important role in the Ganga Action Plan, to clean up the river, and in the Modi Government’s Swachh Bharat campaign.

Published on March 20, 2015

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