One of the world leaders in water and waste management, the French group, Suez, plans to expand its operations in Brazil, where it has been operating for 80 years and has already had a water and sanitation concession in Manaus (AM) and Limeira (SP). The company operates today in the country as a service provider on two fronts.
In the industrial area, for example, it maintains mobile water treatment units on Petrobras offshore platforms. The second front is with medium to long-term maintenance that combines actions of pressure management, intelligent monitoring, leak detection and repair. In this case, there are close to ten contracts – all with public or mixed-economy sanitation companies.
In an interview with Valor, Suez Latin America director of strategy and institutional relations, Christophe Warnier, said that they are on the radar, in addition to expanding the number of current contracts between 10% and 20% per year, to enter what he calls ” traditional activities “such as the construction of water infrastructure (sewage treatment plant and drinking water treatment units) and water cycle management (not only advanced solutions but complete management of abstraction, production, distribution, sewage and water treatment).
“In these activities, Suez can operate with many different contractual models, with technical assistance, operation and maintenance, concession, among others,” he said. Warnier stressed that the model will depend on the needs of public authorities and the regulatory framework.
A third of the world’s freshwater resources are in the region, but much of the population is lacking. The estimate is that 34 million people do not have access to safe water sources and 106 million live without satisfactory sanitation.
The group seeks what it calls intelligent and sustainable management of resources, with solutions tailored to each case. Among the contracts signed with Sabesp, the executive highlights one, from 2013, to reduce losses in the supply system of Jardim Sao Luiz, in Sao Paulo.
“It consists of providing both technical and pedagogical services for the evolution of the water service”. This is what the company calls performance contracts. The economy measured in cubic meters pays the Suez installment.
The Suez business chain is not restricted to the water circuit, but encompasses the opportunities that the treatment of that good generates. To face the challenges of quality and availability, the group bets on the resource revolution. With digital technologies and innovative applications, it recovers 17 million tonnes of waste per year in Europe, where it operates, producing 3.9 million tonnes of secondary raw materials and 6,254 GWh of local and renewable energy.
In Le Pecq, a community near Paris, is the International Center for Research in Water and Environment (Cirsee), the company’s main think tank. It is there that in 2014 Suez created a laboratory that works for the plastic recycling units installed in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. In them, Suez collects annually 400 thousand tons of plastic waste, of which 120 thousand to 130 thousand tons are recovered to be sold. The objective is to double that utilization by 2020.