Ondeo Wins $295 M Design, Build and Operate Wastewater Treatment Contract

May 21, 2002

Ondeo, the water division of SUEZ, announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle to design, build and operate three wastewater treatment plants and to design and build a wastewater collection system, treating wastewater for the 380,000 residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.

The agreement will include a 30-year partnership to operate and maintain the wastewater treatment plants. The total net present value of the entire project represents more than US $295 million including capital expenditures of US $166 million and is the largest project of its kind in scope and size in North America. The agreement will be subject to the satisfaction of two conditions precedent, namely regulatory approval and financing.

Ondeo was selected through a rigorous Request For Proposal process undertaken by the Halifax Regional Municipality to maximize the environmental benefits of the project for Halifax Harbor and increase the economic benefits for Nova Scotia.

Ondeo formed a group of local partners under the leadership of its subsidiary United Water of Harrington Park, NJ – one of the leading water service providers in North America – and Ondeo Degremont, its business specialized in water treatment plant engineering. The partnership operates under the name "Halifax Regional Environmental Partnership."

"Ondeo assembled a team that brings together unique capabilities in management, design, construction and long-term operation of wastewater services to develop comprehensive, cost- and time-efficient solutions for the Halifax Region," said Jacques Petry, Chairman and CEO of SUEZ's water division. "We are very pleased to partner with the Halifax Regional Municipality and we are committed to playing an active role in supporting the region's environmental efforts."

The project will include design, construction, and a 30-year operation and maintenance contract of three wastewater treatment plants in Dartmouth, Halifax and Herring Cove. It also covers the design and construction of a wastewater collection system, which will then be managed by the Halifax Regional Municipality. In addition, Ondeo's proposal includes a biosolids (sludge) handling and management system offering high value beneficial re-use of sludge extracted at the facilities.

The project is expected to yield extensive environmental, economic, and recreational benefits. Currently, more than 150 million litres of untreated sewage flow into the Harbor every day. Harbor conditions should improve as soon as the project is completed and operations begin.

Design, Build, and Operate contracts (DBOs), which assign turnkey, construction and operation responsibility to a single party, offer municipalities many advantages, including time and cost efficiencies and improved risk management. In North America, the market for DBOs has been growing steadily over the last few years as municipalities seek solutions for their water-related needs. Through its work on this major project, Ondeo is well positioned to take advantage of this market's growth.

SUEZ is active as a services groups – involved in Energy, Water, and Waste Services – with 190,000 employees at work in 130 countries, generating revenues of euro 42.4 billion in 2001.

Ondeo, the water division of SUEZ, is an active water-related solutions provider and is present in 130 countries. Ondeo supplies 120 million people with water and wastewater services, provides services to more than 60,000 industrial customers, and has built more than 10,000 water-treatment plants worldwide.

Source: PR Newswire