Water: Optimal financial and regulatory structures
WATCH ON-DEMAND. Original broadcast date: 14 October 2021. A look at how to balance public and investor interests in developing much-needed water infrastructure.
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Water infrastructure offers huge opportunities for private investors - and huge challenges. It is an essential utility in the developed world, and promises to immensely improve health outcomes in emerging markets. But the role of private capital in water operations is highly controversial, and has attracted resistance, restrictions and even renationalisations.
England persists with wholesale private ownership and operation of water treatment and distribution, a model that has spurred the development of new financing structures and attracted direct investment from institutional investors. But the model has not been copied extensively elsewhere and calls to take the sector back into public ownership have persisted in the 30 years since privatisation.
Other models exist, including a PPP model that bloomed briefly in Scotland and has cropped up in Latin America and Asia. In the GCC region, large-scale independent water power projects are staples of the region’s project finance market. Structured municipal ownership structures combining public and private capital also remain popular.
Access to water and sanitation for all is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the sector is a major focus for impact and blended finance activity. So is there a major role for plentiful private capital in the sector and can risk allocation meet both lender expectations and public policy objectives?
Joining Proximo for this webinar will be a group of experienced advisers and investors active in the water sector to examine the issues raised by climate change, and what precautions can be taken by lenders and governments.
Wes Strickland, Partner, Ashurst
David Bird, Vice-president, project finance & development, Garney Construction
Peter Luchetti, Managing partner, Table Rock Partners
Tom Nelthorpe, Contributing editor, Proximo (moderator)