Posted: Monday 30th November 2009

Industry Bible Reveals Emerging Players & China’s Growing Dominance.

Pinsent Masons, one of the world's leading infrastructure law firms and a specialist in water projects, has launched the 11th edition of its Water Yearbook – the water industry’s essential guide to the critical trends, influencers, projects and companies involved in today’s global water industry.

Despite the global recession, the Pinsent Masons Water Yearbook identifies a number of fundamental changes within the industry. Most notable is the emergence of smaller players onto the global stage, for instance from China and Brazil, as the trend towards local contracts continues. China itself is now the driver of the global water industry, whilst OECD-based companies now account for less than half of all contracts (compared to 84% a decade ago). Finally, the “big five” water companies, which used to dominate the industry, have now consolidated into the “big two”, but still control a 33% share of the total global water market.

Dr. David Lloyd Owen, leading water consultant and author of the report, said, “Despite the funding issues that beset the industry on both a global and a local scale, water is still seen as an attractive asset class. The private sector has a crucial role to play – by 2015 we estimate that 16% of the world’s population will be served by the private sector. This is reflected in the number of contracts awarded this year, which although small, shows 30 contract gains, showing exceptional players can still close deals even in these difficult times.”

The Water Yearbook took more than 10 months of research, comprises 486 pages of expert analysis and covers 29 countries and 157 organisations. It describes in detail 1,057 water contracts servicing 94% of the world’s population (805 million people), and has identified 123 contracts awarded or identified for the first time, compared to 117 last year. It also outlines 111 ‘second tier’ organisations servicing the water requirements of 42.5 million people.

Mark Lane, Partner and Head of the Water Sector Group at Pinsent Masons, said, “The water industry is facing numerous challenges, whether it’s the influence of PR09 and the Water Framework Directive on the domestic front, or on a macro level the difficulties involved in serious water events like flooding, or combating climate change through reduced energy consumption. As the law firm of choice for the sector, we understand those issues and can offer unparalleled advice and guidance.”

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