Water Industry News

Veolia North America reports reduced new con-op contracts
By Larry Chertoff

(from an article published in Global Water Intelligence, March 2006)

After selling much of the industrial side of its business to Siemens, Veolia Water NA (formerly USFilter) has carved out a market space focused on large municipal contracts including design-build-operate and sea water desalination.   

Veolia Water, much like its predecessor company, USFilter, has leaned heavily on big long-term deals although projects of this nature often take years to land giving the balance sheet multi-year oscillations. 

Joseph Burgess, who recently replaced Mike Stark as CEO, has a challenge in pulling his company out of a 50% drop in in new O&M contracts from $196 million 2004 to 96.399 in 2005.  

Burgess is marketing heavily to the fast-growing Sunbelt states. Within that space he specifically favors California as his top choice. Outside the continental US he sees excellent growth opportunities in the US Virgin Islands and non-US Caribbean islands, especially in desalination.   

He also expects strong growth operating residual management systems. The company now has between $50 million to $60 million in contracts to dry and pelletize sludge for large city wastewater facilities. Finally, Burgess expects increased business from the oil and petrochemical industries.  

One area of the US in which Veolia has demonstrated less interest is the Northeast. Veolia appears discouraged by saturated markets, a tough regulatory climate, and resistance of big cities to outsourcing. Despite that reluctance, the company is pursuing selected projects. It won a landmark contract to design-build-and operate in New York State’s Rockland County after the county invested several years lobbying to get an exemption from the state’s prohibition of DBO contracts. 

In a telephone interview Burgess projected a revenue increase in 2006 of at least 11% with profits exceeding 11%. Industry newsletter Public Works Financing reported Veolia Water NA revenue of $515 million in 2004 increased to $543 million in 2005. 

2005 new contracts submitted by Veolia Water North America:  

Veolia Water North America
  Project Scope Design-Build
Annual Operations Value
Total Value
1 Hardin County Water District/Fort Knox, KY O&M of wastewater and stormwater facilities $1.679 20 $33.573
2 Gresham, OR O&M of WWTP $2.610 7 $18.273
3 New Orleans, LA DB of improvements to wwtp $16.06 $16.06
4 Toronto, ON DB of improvements to bisolids pelletizer facility $12.00 $12.00
5 Diablo Grande, CA DB of improvements to w / wwtp $5.20 $5.20
6 Cle Elum, WA O&M of new WWTP $0.346 10 $3.465
7 Tampa Bay Water, FL O&M of Reservoir $0.961 3 $2.884
8 Owen Sound, ON O&M ofWTP $0.481 5.5 $2.643
9 Georgian Bluffs, ON O&M of WTP/Distribution System/WW Lagoon $0.213 5 $1.065
10 Overton, TX O&M of W/WWTP C/D $0.210 3 $0.630
11 North Branford, CT O&M of Collection System $0.120 3 $0.359
12 Whisper Creek, MN O&M ofWWTP $0.041 3.25 $0.133
13 Gilbert, VW O&M of WWTP $0.058 2 $0.116
TOTAL $96.399


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