Felipe Guinea, Managing Director of Almar Water Solutions, participated yesterday in the European Infrastructure Finance Summit, held in the Hotel Riu Plaza España, in Madrid. The European Infrastructure Finance Summit 2019 offered a general outlook of the European infrastructure market and brought together more than 250 specialists from the public and private sectors to openly debate what the future of infrastructure in Europe might look like.
Felipe Guinea was a panel member in the session titled Water Infrastructure: Meeting a New and Pressing Challenge, along with other specialists from the water and finance sectors. Felipe, as an expert in the development and financing of water infrastructure, gave his opinion on the lack of project structuring in the sector and indicated that private companies are hungry to invest in the industry.
Another question covered by this panel was whether the European Union and the Member States are currently capable of developing the water infrastructure required to respond to these challenges and how the failure to allocate specific budgets is affecting the industry, when there is currently significant liquidity in the market that could complement and contribute to this development in a faster and more balanced manner.
Traditionally blessed with abundant rainfall, natural reserves and an extensive network of water infrastructure, today Europe is facing a totally different paradigm in which severe drought and a population explosion are exerting pressure on a system that in some areas has not been renovated for many decades.
Almar Water Solutions, with offices in the Netherlands and Spain, deals with this problem close up and offers both financial and technological solutions that allow governments and institutions to have access to this infrastructure and to provide their citizens with a resource as vital as water.
Yesterday, Almar Water Solutions participated in the “Urban Water Summit” event organized by iAgua at the Roca Madrid Gallery, where issue number 22 of iAgua Magazine was released. The speakers at the event included Teresa Ribera, Spain’s Minister for Ecological Transition, and 10 experts who presented the best success stories in the area of water management in cities.
Felipe Guinea, Director of Structured Finance of Almar Water Solutions, was one of the experts and gave a talk titled “New models for financing and management of the construction and operation of water infrastructure in cities”. Felipe presented the Mombasa desalination project, awarded last year to Almar Water Solutions, and which is currently in the financial close phase.
Felipe also explained the advantages and experience of the company in the development of customized financial models for each type of client and/or project. In particular, he emphasized the PPP model as a solution for regions with limited liquidity but large water needs. Lastly, he made a special mention of the risks, and indicated that project guarantees normally include a wide range of possible obligations, such as, lawsuits, regulations or payments due to contract termination.
As highlighted by iAgua, water management is one of the most important services for the correct functioning of cities, home to more than half of the world’s population. The development of the technology required to guarantee water security in cities has been extremely positive in recent years, in a context where the effects of climate change are becoming more and more evident. However, there are still some pending political, financial and social challenges that need to be addressed with determination.
Almar Water Solutions, thanks to its financial capacity and experience in all types of contracts, is able to successfully respond to all of the specific requirements of each project and geographic area. The company is also committed to always being present throughout the entire project cycle, from when the need for water supply arises, to the commissioning of the plant and subsequent maintenance.