United Utilities

Great Sankey, United Kingdom

United Utilities

Great Sankey, United Kingdom

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

In the 1st quarter of 2017 the operational and financial performance of the Company’s has been excellent. All key performance indicators are on track and overall network leakage is below 14%, which represents the best performance in the Company’s history and a testament of all the hard work done by AS Tallinna Vesi staff and targeted Capital investments. The water quality in the 1st quarter of 2017 was 100% compliant based on the 738 samples taken and 6,160 analysis made. Besides providing quality drinking water, we are also responsible for a wastewater discharge service to nearly one third of Estonia’s population (460,000). It is therefore extremely important that the wastewater treatment plant in Paljassaare works effectively and in accordance with the stipulated quality requirements, set by the Estonian Ministry of Environment. Throughout the 1st quarter of 2017, the final effluent leaving Paljassaare was 100% compliant with all stipulated requirements. We continue to make targeted capital investments, renovating or replacing assets based on previous condition surveys and performance data, to ensure the continued reliability of the infrastructure. This includes the 5+5 programme, where 5 km of drinking water and 5 km wastewater network are replaced each year. Delivering good operational and financial performance is only possible through the continued motivation, commitment and performance of AS Tallinna Vesi staff. We remain focused on the development and training of our employees and ensuring appropriate succession plans are in place. OPERATIONAL INDICATORS FOR THREE MONTHS OF 2017 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE 1st QUARTER 2017 The Group’s sales revenues during the 1st quarter of 2017 were EUR 13.78 million, being down by 4.1% or EUR 0.59 million compared to the same period in 2016. The gross profit in the 1st quarter of 2017 was EUR 8.21 million, showing a decrease of 1.5% or EUR 0.13 million. Decrease in gross profit was mainly related to lower storm water revenues and profit from construction and asphalting services, higher electricity costs and other costs of goods sold costs. It was balanced by higher water and wastewater revenues and by lower depreciation and pollution tax expenses. The operating profit was EUR 6.49 million, showing a decrease of 2.2% or EUR 0.15 million. The operating profit was mostly impacted by the above mentioned changes in gross profit. The net profit for the 1st quarter of 2017 was EUR 6.36 million, being higher by 12.8% or EUR 0.72 million. The net profit was mainly impacted by above mentioned changes in operating profit, balanced by lower financial expenses, which in itself were mostly influenced by the positive change in the fair value of swap contracts in the 1st quarter of 2017 compared to the negative change in the same quarter of 2016. The net profit for the 1st quarter of 2017 and 2016 without the impact resulted from the change of the fair value of swap contracts was EUR 6.11 million and EUR 6.29 million respectively, being lower by 3.0% or EUR 0.19 million year-on-year. Main business – water and wastewater activities, excl. connections profit and government grants, construction, design and asphalting services, doubtful debt FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE 1st QUARTER 2017 As the Company’s tariffs are frozen at the 2010 tariff level, the changes in the main activities revenues, i.e. from sales of water and wastewater services, are fully driven by consumption with no considerable seasonality in the main business. The Company does not expect significant changes in the consumption in future. There has been incremental increase in consumption in the past and that is expected to continue. In the 1st quarter of 2017 the Group’s total sales were EUR 13.78 million, showing a decrease by 4.1% or EUR 0.59 million year-on-year. 92.4% of sales comprise of sales of water and wastewater services to domestic and commercial customers within and outside of the service area. 5.4% of sales are the fees received from the City of Tallinn for operating and maintaining the storm water system and fire hydrants, 1.3% from construction and asphalting services and 1.0% from other works and services. The construction and asphalting services sales are more seasonal and the Company continues to seek possibilities to keep and to grow these services revenues. Sales from water and wastewater services were EUR 12.73 million, showing a 1.6% or EUR 0.21 million increase compared to the 1st quarter of 2016, resulting from the changes in sales volumes as described below: Sales from the operation and maintenance of the main service area storm water and fire hydrant system were EUR 0.74 million, showing a decrease of 21.6% or EUR 0.20 million in the 1st quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Sales of construction, design and asphalting services were EUR 0.18 million, decreasing by 76.2% or EUR 0.58 million year-on-year. The decrease was related to lower pipe construction services revenues during the 1st quarter of 2017. The cost of goods sold amounted to EUR 5.57 million in the 1st quarter of 2017, showing 7.6% or EUR 0.46 million decrease compared to the equivalent period in 2016. The cost decrease is mainly influenced by decrease in construction and asphalting services related costs and also by lower depreciation and pollution tax expenses, which was partly balanced by higher electricity and other costs of goods sold costs. Total direct production costs (water abstraction charges, chemicals, electricity and pollution tax) were EUR 1.78 million, being on same level as last year same period. Changes in direct production costs came from a combination of changes in prices and in treated volumes that affected the cost of goods sold together with the following additional factors: Other costs of goods sold (staff costs, depreciation, construction and asphalting services costs and other costs of goods sold) amounted to EUR 3.80 million, having decreased by 10.7% or EUR 0.46 million. The decrease came mostly from costs related to construction and asphalting services and depreciation, balanced by increase of other costs of goods sold. Decrease in construction and asphalting services costs by 79.6% to EUR 0.14 million was related to a decrease in construction and asphalting services revenues mentioned earlier. Other costs of goods sold increase is mainly related to timing of asset maintenance works and higher use of different rental mechanisms. As a result of all above the Group’s gross profit for the 1st quarter of 2017 was EUR 8.21 million, showing a decrease of 1.5% or EUR 0.13 million, compared to the gross profit of EUR 8.34 million for the comparative period of 2016. Administrative and marketing expenses were relatively stable amounting to EUR 1.67 million. The slight increase was related to some increase of the IT purchases and consultation costs. Increase was balanced by lower staff costs due to some vacancies and slightly lower tariff dispute related costs. As a result of the factors listed above the Group’s operating profit for the 1st quarter of 2017 amounted to EUR 6.49 million, being 2.2% or EUR 0.15 million lower than in the corresponding period of 2016. The Group’s operating profit from main business was EUR 6.48 million, being 1.1% or EUR 0.07 million lower compared to 2016. The Group’s net financial income and expenses have resulted a net expense of EUR 0.13 million, compared to net expense of EUR 1.00 million in the 1st quarter of 2016. The decrease was mainly impacted by a positive change in the fair value of the swap contracts year-on-year, worth EUR 0.91 million. The standalone swap agreements have been signed to mitigate the majority of the long term floating interest risk. The interest swap agreements are signed for EUR 75 million and EUR 20 million are still with floating interest rate. At this point in time the estimated fair value of the swap contracts is negative, amounting to EUR 1.07 million. Effective interest rate of loans (incl. swap interests) in the 1st quarter of 2017 was 1.60%, amounting to interest costs of EUR 0.38 million, compared to the effective interest rate of 1.47% and the interest costs of EUR 0.35 million in the 1st quarter of 2016. The Group’s profit before taxes and net profit for the 1st quarter of 2017 were EUR 6.36 million, being 12.8% or EUR 0.72 million higher than for the 1st quarter of 2016. Eliminating the effects of the change in derivatives fair value, the Group’s net profit for the 1st quarter of 2017 would have been EUR 6.11 million, showing a decrease by 3.0% or EUR 0.19 million compared to the relevant period in 2016. In the three months of 2017 the Group invested into fixed assets EUR 2.21 million. As of 31.03.2017, non-current tangible assets amounted to EUR 171.88 million and total non-current assets amounted to EUR 172.70 million (31.03.2016: EUR 163.12 million and EUR 163.91 million respectively). Compared to the year end of 2016 the trade receivables, accrued income and prepaid expenses have shown a decrease in the amount of EUR 0.26 million to EUR 6.91 million. The collection rate of receivables continues to be high, being 99.4% compared to 99.8% in the 1st quarter of 2016. Current liabilities have decreased by EUR 2.23 million to EUR 8.41 million compared to the year end of 2016. Decrease mainly derives from decrease in trade and other payables by EUR 1.90 million and decreased prepayments of connections in construction process by EUR 0.31 million. It is related to decreased construction activities and investments related liabilities. Deferred income from connection fees has grown compared to the end of 2016 by EUR 1.12 million to EUR 18.17 million. The Group’s loan balance has remained stable at EUR 95 million. The weighted average interest risk margin for the total loan facility is 0.95%. The Group has a Total debt to assets level as expected of 56.2%, in range of 55%-65%, reflecting the Group’s equity profile. This level is consistent with the same period in 2016, when the Total debt to assets ratio was also 56.2%. In the 4th quarter of 2011 the Group evaluated and noted an exceptional off-balance sheet contingent liability, which could cause an outflow of economic benefits of up to EUR 36 million. In the 1st quarter of 2017 the Group re-evaluated the liability, which now stands at EUR 43 million (4th quarter of 2016 EUR 43 million), as per note 14 to the accounts. As of 31.March 2017, the cash position of the Group is strong. At the end of March 2017 the cash balance of the Group stood at EUR 38.51 million, which is 17.6% of the total assets (31. March 2016: EUR 44.17 million, forming 20.5% of the total assets). The biggest contribution to the cash flows comes from main operations. During the three months of 2017, the Group generated EUR 7.22 million of cash flows from operating activities, a decrease of EUR 1.54 million compared to the corresponding period in 2016. Underlying operating profit continues to be the main contributor to operating cash flows. In the three months of 2017 the result of net cash flows from investing activities was a cash outflow of EUR 2.27 million, an increase of EUR 0.22 million compared to the cash outflow of EUR 2.05 million in the three months of 2016. This is made up as follows: In the three months of 2017 cash outflow from financing activities amounted to EUR 0.42 million, increasing by EUR 0.07 million compared to the same period in 2016. The change was mainly related to increase in interest payments by EUR 0.06. We believe it is important to treat our employees equally, involve them in the decision-making process and to inform them regularly. We consider the involvement of our staff in the decision-making process instrumental for them to understand and be able to support the Company in its pursuits. Our staff can vary to a large degree in age, nationality, nature of work and in many other aspects. This requires us to be resourceful and flexible in our communication with the staff in order to involve, engage and listen to them. This is done using several opportunities and channels of communication, such as regular staff meetings with the management, information boards, intranet, informative letters, team events and a quarterly internal newsletter. Estonian is not a communication language for quite a number of our staff. Therefore, we organise Estonian classes at the Company’s expense to make the staff, whose mother tongue is not Estonian, also feel as part of our unified team. At the same time, we provide the majority of important information also in Russian. We have described our human resource policies. We follow equality principles in selecting and managing people, which translates into providing, when feasible, equal opportunities to everyone. Understanding and appreciating the diversity of our staff, we ensure, that everyone is treated fairly and equally and they have access to the same opportunities as is reasonable and practicable. We aim to ensure, that no employees are discriminated against due to, but not exclusive to age, gender, religion, cultural or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation or marital status. At the end of the 1st quarter of 2017, the total number of employees was 312 compared to 319 at the end of the 1st quarter of 2016. The full time equivalent (FTE) was respectively 303 in 2017 compared to the 307 in 2016. Average number of employees (FTE) during the three months was respectively 301 in 2017 and 310 in 2016. By gender, employee allocation was as follows: The total salary costs were EUR 2.05 million for the 1st quarter of 2017, including EUR 0.08 million paid to Management and Supervisory Council members (excluding social taxes). The off-balance sheet potential salary liability could rise up to EUR 0.08 million should the Council want to replace the current Management Board members. Dividend allocation to the shareholders is recorded as a liability in the financial statement of the Company at the time when the profit allocation and dividend payment is confirmed by the annual general meeting of shareholders. The dividend policy has been related keeping the dividends in real term i.e. dividends amounts have been increased in line with inflation. Every year the Supervisory Board evaluates the proposal of the dividends to be paid out to the shareholders and approves it to be presented to the voting to the Annual General Meeting of shareholders, considering all circumstances. The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will be held on 01st June 2017. Dividends will be paid out in June 2017. AS Tallinna Vesi is listed on NASDAQ OMX Main Baltic Market with trading code TVEAT and ISIN EE3100026436. As of 31.03.2017, AS Tallinna Vesi shareholders, with a direct holding over 5%, were: During the three months of 2017 the shareholder structure has been relatively stable compared to the end of 2016. At the end of 1st quarter 2017 the pension funds shareholding has stayed the same, being 2.1% of the total shares, compared to the end of 2016. As of 31.03.2017, the closing price of AS Tallinna Vesi share was EUR 14.00, which is 1.4% (2016: 7.2%) higher compared to the closing price of EUR 13.80 at the beginning of the quarter. During the 1st quarter the OMX Tallinn index increased by 4.3% (2016: 8.0%). In the three months of 2017, 1,784 deals with the Company’s shares were concluded (2016: 1,514 deals) during which 246 thousand shares or 1.2% of total shares exchanged their owners (2016: 258 thousand shares or 1.3%). The turnover of the transactions was EUR 0.22 million lower than in 2016, amounting to EUR 3.39 million. As of 31st March 2017, the Group consisted of 2 companies. The subsidiary Watercom OÜ is wholly owned by AS Tallinna Vesi and consolidated to the results of the Company. Supervisory Council plans and organises the management of the Company and supervises the activities of the Management Board. According to AS Tallinna Vesi articles of association Supervisory Council consists of 9 members, who are appointed for two years. There has been no changes in Supervisory Council members in the 1st quarter of 2017. Tallinn City reappointed Mr Toivo Tootsen with the powers of the Supervisory Council Member until 06th April 2019. Supervisory Council has formed three committees to advise Supervisory Council on audit, remuneration and corporate governance matters. More information about the Supervisory Council and committees can be found in the note 12 to the financial statements as well as from the Company’s webpage: Management Board is a governing body, which represents and manages AS Tallinna Vesi in its daily operations in accordance with the legal requirements as well as the Articles of Association. The Management Board must act economically in the most efficient way taking into consideration the interest of the Company and its shareholders and ensure the sustainable development of the Company in accordance with the set objectives and strategy. To ensure that the company’s interests are met in the best way possible, the Management and Supervisory Boards shall extensively collaborate. Meetings of Management and Supervisory Board members are held at least once a quarter. In those meetings the Management Board informs the Supervisory Council about all significant issues in Company’s business operations, the fulfilment of the company’s short and long-term goals are being discussed and the risks impacting them. For every meeting of the Management Board prepares report and submits the report in advance with the sufficient time for the Supervisory Board to study it. According to the Articles of Association the Management Board consists of 2-5 members, who are elected for 3 years. Starting from 2nd of June 2014 there are 3 members of the Management Board of AS Tallinna Vesi: Karl Heino Brookes (Chairman of the Board, with the powers of the Management Board Member until 21st March 2020), Aleksandr Timofejev (with the powers of the Management Board Member until 29th October 2018) and Riina Käi (with the powers of the Management Board Member until 29th October 2018). Additional information on the members of the Management Board can be found from the Company’s website: In May 2014, the Supervisory Council of the Company gave notice of potential international arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Estonia for breaching the undertakings it is required to abide by in the bilateral investment treaty. In October 2014 AS Tallinna Vesi and its shareholder United Utilities (Tallinn) B.V have commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Estonia for breach of the Agreement on the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the Kingdom of The Netherlands and the Republic of Estonia. The claim was filed as three years of intensive negotiation to try and reach an amicable settlement that has not happened. The hearings of international arbitration took place in Paris in November 2016 and the decision is expected in 2017. Additional details related with the claim can be found via the following links: The Company will keep the investment community informed of all relevant developments of the tariff dispute, both locally as well as internationally. AS Tallinna Vesi has published all relevant materials on its website (http://www.tallinnavesi.ee/en/Investor/Regulation and https://www.tallinnavesi.ee/en/investor/stock-announcements) and to the Tallinn Stock Exchange. At this point in time the Company will not speculate on future developments and possible outcomes or timing of the proceedings.


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

Britain faces at least two years of economic "turbulence" and a period of "fiscal uncertainty" as the country prepares for Brexit in 2019 and the prospect of a clean break with the EU, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond has warned. Lord Redesdale, CEO of the Energy Managers Association warns businesses to act now and reduce their energy demand. Energy prices will rise by an estimated 50% over the next 5 years while demand will exceed current grid capacity this winter. Also, UK's commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 2020 will impose tighter regulations on commercial properties and create new laws on business energy efficiency taxation. Energy Management is essential to any business if you want to control costs, be fully compliant with legislation and enhance the organisation's reputation. EMEX (www.emexlondon.com) and its community are returning to the ExCeL Centre in London on 16th and 17th November with a packed programme spread across 4 free-to-attend CPD-accredited seminar theatres. This content, curated by the Energy Managers Association and its Board of major energy users, will include the opportunity to meet with top industry experts, peers and numerous leading suppliers that will unveil the latest technology and energy efficiency strategies available right now. Organisations like Network Rail, Land Securities, Local Councils, Ministry of Defence, National Grid, E.ON, Unite Students, Servest Group, Bourne Leisure, British Sugar, Costa Express, Port of Milford Haven, Water Plus, University College London, Bank of England, Skanska, BIFM, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), House of Commons, The Body Shop International, Pets At Home, Total Gas & Power, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Greater London Authority, Broad gate Estates, Queen Mary University of London, Lloyds Banking Group, and Regent Street Management Direct are confirmed to speak at EMEX 2016. One of the most important energy efficiency measures is training. You could save up to 30% on your utility bills. The latest developments in behavioural change can help your business to engage with your staff so they become active players in reducing operating costs while improving sustainability credentials, all this with no capital outlay and no interruption of day-to-day business. Experts, such as the Operations Improvement Manager at British Sugar, the Senior Sustainability Manager at Skanska, the Energy and Environmental Manager at the Bank of England, the Energy and Utilities Advisor at the House of Commons and the Energy and Sustainability Manager at University College London, all specialists in behaviour change, to name just a few, will share their experience. Their presentations, in the Siemens theatre, will leave you better equipped to deliver energy efficiency in your organisation from one-off projects to a strategy that is embedded in staff culture. See seminars in Saving Energy Through People Track. 2. Reducing Energy Use in the Built Environment. About half of CO2 emissions in the UK come from energy used in our homes and buildings leading the UK Government to implement tougher regulations in the built environment. Get on top of new Government energy standards, assess risks and, where necessary, act now to make improvements that ensure buildings exceed the minimum energy efficiency standard or face the prospect of the value of your assets decreasing significantly. By April 2018, it will be unlawful to renew or grant new leases for residential, or commercial property with an EPC rating below "E" unless registered as an exemption. By April 2020, the regulation will be extended to apply to ALL residential lettings (both new AND existing). By simply commissioning or upgrading existing systems, you can expect energy savings of 20-40%, which typically represent a simple payback of less than 3 years. With over 120 exhibitors ranging from major utilities to brokers and consultants, equipment manufacturers to training companies and showcasing a broad range of energy efficient solutions and services under one roof, EMEX has become a unique opportunity to learn about the new technology, systems and services available in this fast changing environment. There are a number of talks about Energy Use in the Built Environment. One area of operational expenditure that has been largely overlooked, but which has substantial potential to deliver savings, is the cost and use of indirect materials and resources, such as water, energy, maintenance and hidden value in assets. Beyond price, there are further financial considerations associated with buying and using these key resources. Energy efficiency is already a well-established part of the corporate and social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability agenda. Businesses committed to safeguarding their reputation for corporate responsibility - and the commercial value attached to that - have no option but to meet the challenge of developing sustainable operations. Applying silo thinking to operational management rarely delivers the maximum savings possible. A far more effective approach is to focus on the whole operation and identify the interdependencies between each function. With this broader view, it is possible to develop and implement solutions that deliver greater cost reductions by achieving the following results: Increase energy efficiency across multiple facilities; reduce maintenance costs; reduce water consumption; decrease production downtime; remove supply chain costs; deliver a return on investment; increase business assets value; enhance workplace productivity. Start implementing all the necessary improvements by mapping out the opportunities and building a solid business case to get a sign-off from board of directors and company executives. There are a number of informative seminars here. The UK is entering a period of energy transition. The main forces driving this transition are a growing consensus about the scale and importance of climate change, the need to ensure secure energy supplies for the UK in the face of rising global demand and an ageing and centralised grid. There is an urgent imperative to re-shape policy in order to decarbonise the energy that we use, evolve infrastructures and to secure sustainable local generation supplies for the long term. The UK's energy market mix is already fast changing with a fast growing interest in flexible strategies that empower end-users to manage their consumption, mitigate intermittency in supply, lower their costs and generate new revenue. At EMEX, National Grid will present Power Responsive, a stakeholder-led programme of work to stimulate increased participation in the different forms of flexible technology in Britain's energy markets. They also plan to facilitate the rapid growth of demand-side solutions. Demand Reduction is a key area for policy makers and companies this year, as this winter will see a very tight margin between supply and demand. The EMA will be launching Dynamic Response, which will offer a new solution to this problem - flexible load shifting through battery storage from off-peak to peak periods. This system will help you reduce costs through reduction in expensive peak time pricing, reduce transmission charges and deal with security of supply issues. This new technology will be rolled out in the next couple of years. Seminars on how you could incorporate this system into your business and actually make a profit will be explored in the presentations found in the DONG Energy theatre. With the deployment of demand-side response systems and energy storage, renewables will play a central part of generation on the grid. How the electricity codes will need to be amended will be covered, and the work of the EMA in lobbying for these changes will also be highlighted. Renewables now account for 25% of the UK electricity generation, which is up from 9% in 2011. Switching to renewables and green-tech is a substantial and yet untapped opportunity for most businesses to reduce costs and meet carbon emission targets rapidly. At EMEX, Good Energy will launch their new web platform for business customers to enhance transparency and control of their energy supply with the ability to match with local renewable power generators. DONG Energy is leading the way in the development of sophisticated tools that enable businesses to be more flexible in the way that energy is consumed. It has come up with a unique way to help balance its own generation at times when the wind doesn't blow. Corona Energy, a leading independent energy supplier to UK businesses will offer expert advice on energy efficiency, with a fresh approach to managing your energy usage presented at the show. Alternatively, instead of buying all of your energy from suppliers, you can install renewables technology, also known as micro generation, and low-carbon technology to generate your own. ENERCON UK, Emergya Wind Technologies, Lightsource Renewable Energy, Norvento Wind Energy and others will present the latest technologies to generate energy from wind, sun and biomass fuel. Also presenting at the show, Origami Energy is an ambitious new technology company, created with the objective of developing the technology and financial systems that are required to connect, control and actively manage a large network of existing energy generating / energy using / energy storing assets connected to the electricity grid. Learn about all of these in the Renewable Power Generation track. 6. Get ready for the UK water market de-regulation Businesses need to start planning now for the most radical changes in the water industry for a generation. From April 2017, over 1.2 million eligible businesses and other non-household customers in England will be able to choose their supplier of water and wastewater retail services. The smallest high street shops to the largest public authorities will be able to shop around and choose their retailer or renegotiate the existing deal. If you prepare well for the changes in advance, deregulation of the water industry presents a fresh opportunity for your company to make significant savings when it comes to managing your utility costs. Companies operating in multiple locations can use just one supplier rather than several, which allows them to negotiate price on a much larger volume and to simplify the billing process. Some retailers will work with such clients to reduce their water bill through the introduction of water efficient kit and metering, in order to form the basis of a Water Performance Contract in which water efficiency savings will be shared by the client and the retailer. In Scotland, where competition was introduced in 2008, Business Stream achieved more than £35 million in Water Efficiency savings, experienced a 26% increase in customer satisfaction, made available more than £30m worth of discounts, saved public sector customers more than £20m and helped customers save 16 billion litres of water and more than 28,000 tons of CO2 in the first 3 years. Early birds in the market will snap the best deals, so don't wait until April 2017 to do your benchmarking. Business Stream, SES Business Water, Source for Business, Water Plus (a new joint venture between Severn Trent and United Utilities), The Water Retail Company, Waterscan and Water 2 Business to name a few will be presenting their offerings at EMEX. Check all the free-to-attend seminars and training sessions in the Water Retail Market Opening track. EMEX is over 3,000 visitors, 120 exhibitors, 100 speakers and 80 training and seminars.


SMi Group release new interview with Innovation Manager of Sutton and East Surrey Water, Jeremy Heath, ahead of his talk at the 6th Annual Smart Water Systems this April. London, United Kingdom, February 15, 2017 --( At the conference, Jeremy will discuss the smart network developments by giving an update on data collection, processing, display and mobilisation. With over 20 years of experience in the Water Industry, and a background in both mechanical engineering and database applications, Jeremy is responsible for the management of innovation within SESW. This involves both the development of an innovation culture and the introduction of new technologies into the Water Industry, in particular the Smart Water Network. This innovative network will be built on enhanced sensors, a communication layer, intelligent processing, intuitive graphical displays and workforce mobilisation. In the run up to the conference, SMi spoke to Jeremy about his work and data communications. How would you define the smart water industry from your view? "We’re still finding our way a bit. The technologies involved are really new and stitching them all together into a workable solution is a real task. It takes a challenging combination of IT, communication systems, network knowledge, data analysis and presentation solutions, and many of these are at the cutting/bleeding edge. However, there is real enthusiasm for a working solution and we are seeing some really great trials." How does Sutton & East Surrey Water prevent DRIP? "A lot of it is about data ownership. Ensure that staff make good use of the data and feel a sense of responsibility for making sure it is correct. The other key point is to process and disseminate the data as near to real time as possible. When data is trustworthy, accurate and timely, it is an invaluable tool." What improvements does the smart water industry need? "Discussions with our customers to develop the most effective use cases for the smart networks. There is a danger that we carry out this work simply because the opportunity is there, but these networks must drive both increased network knowledge and customer satisfaction." The full interview is available to read in the event download centre at http://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcom. Notable presenters at the conference include: Thames Water, Scottish Government, WaterSmart Software, United Utilities, Veolia, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent, Southern Water, Energy Saving Trust, Irish Water, University of Exeter. Latest registered attendees for the event include: Anglian Water, Jersey Water, Thames Water, Bristol Water, South East Water, South Staffs Water, Scottish Water, Oxera, Kamstrup, Wheatley Associates Ltd, VCS Denmark, De Watergroep, RWE and Sensus UK Systems Ltd. For an example of who you could meet, please download the past attendee list from our website. For those looking to attend, there is a £100 early bird saving available online ending on 28th February 2017. SMi’s 6th annual conference: Smart Water Systems 24th - 25th April 2017 Copthorne Tara Hotel, London UK http://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcom Contact Information: Media: contact Theresa Chung on +44 (0)20 7827 6068 or email tchung@smi-online.co.uk Delegate Registration: contact Andrew Gibbons on Tel: +44 (0)20 7827 6156 / Email: agibbons@smi-online.co.uk About SMi Group Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk London, United Kingdom, February 15, 2017 --( PR.com )-- SMi Group have released an interview with Jeremy Heath, Innovation Manager at Sutton and East Surrey Water, ahead of his talk at the 6th annual Smart Water Systems conference in London on 24 and 25th April 2017.At the conference, Jeremy will discuss the smart network developments by giving an update on data collection, processing, display and mobilisation.With over 20 years of experience in the Water Industry, and a background in both mechanical engineering and database applications, Jeremy is responsible for the management of innovation within SESW. This involves both the development of an innovation culture and the introduction of new technologies into the Water Industry, in particular the Smart Water Network. This innovative network will be built on enhanced sensors, a communication layer, intelligent processing, intuitive graphical displays and workforce mobilisation.In the run up to the conference, SMi spoke to Jeremy about his work and data communications.How would you define the smart water industry from your view?"We’re still finding our way a bit. The technologies involved are really new and stitching them all together into a workable solution is a real task. It takes a challenging combination of IT, communication systems, network knowledge, data analysis and presentation solutions, and many of these are at the cutting/bleeding edge. However, there is real enthusiasm for a working solution and we are seeing some really great trials."How does Sutton & East Surrey Water prevent DRIP?"A lot of it is about data ownership. Ensure that staff make good use of the data and feel a sense of responsibility for making sure it is correct. The other key point is to process and disseminate the data as near to real time as possible. When data is trustworthy, accurate and timely, it is an invaluable tool."What improvements does the smart water industry need?"Discussions with our customers to develop the most effective use cases for the smart networks. There is a danger that we carry out this work simply because the opportunity is there, but these networks must drive both increased network knowledge and customer satisfaction."The full interview is available to read in the event download centre at http://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcom.Notable presenters at the conference include: Thames Water, Scottish Government, WaterSmart Software, United Utilities, Veolia, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent, Southern Water, Energy Saving Trust, Irish Water, University of Exeter.Latest registered attendees for the event include: Anglian Water, Jersey Water, Thames Water, Bristol Water, South East Water, South Staffs Water, Scottish Water, Oxera, Kamstrup, Wheatley Associates Ltd, VCS Denmark, De Watergroep, RWE and Sensus UK Systems Ltd. For an example of who you could meet, please download the past attendee list from our website.For those looking to attend, there is a £100 early bird saving available online ending on 28th February 2017.SMi’s 6th annual conference:Smart Water Systems24th - 25th April 2017Copthorne Tara Hotel, London UKhttp://www.smart-water-systems.com/prcomContact Information:Media: contact Theresa Chung on +44 (0)20 7827 6068 or email tchung@smi-online.co.ukDelegate Registration: contact Andrew Gibbons on Tel: +44 (0)20 7827 6156 / Email: agibbons@smi-online.co.ukAbout SMi GroupEstablished since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from SMi Group


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 3.68M | Year: 2014

The UK water sector is experiencing a period of profound change with both public and private sector actors seeking evidence-based responses to a host of emerging global, regional and national challenges which are driven by demographic, climatic, and land use changes as well as regulatory pressures for more efficient delivery of services. Although the UK Water Industry is keen to embrace the challenge and well placed to innovate, it lacks the financial resources to support longer term skills and knowledge generation. A new cadre of engineers is required for the water industry to not only make our society more sustainable and profitable but to develop a new suite of goods and services for a rapidly urbanising world. EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training provide an ideal mechanism with which to remediate the emerging shortfall in advanced engineering skills within the sector. In particular, the training of next-generation engineering leaders for the sector requires a subtle balance between industrial and academic contributions; calling for a funding mechanism which privileges industrial need but provides for significant academic inputs to training and research. The STREAM initiative draws together five of the UKs leading water research and training groups to secure the future supply of advanced engineering professionals in this area of vital importance to the UK. Led by the Centre for Water Science at Cranfield University, the consortium also draws on expertise from the Universities of Sheffield and Bradford, Imperial College London, Newcastle University, and the University of Exeter. STREAM offers Engineering Doctorate and PhD awards through a programme which incorporates; (i) acquisition of advanced technical skills through attendance at masters level training courses, (ii) tuition in the competencies and abilities expected of senior engineers, and (iii) doctoral level research projects. Our EngD students spend at least 75% of their time working in industry or on industry specified research problems. Example research topics to be addressed by the schemes students include; delivering drinking water quality and protecting public health; reducing carbon footprint; reducing water demand; improving service resilience and reliability; protecting natural water bodies; reducing sewer flooding, developing and implementing strategies for Integrated Water Management, and delivering new approaches to characterising, communicating and mitigating risk and uncertainty. Fifteen studentships per year for five years will be offered with each position being sponsored by an industrial partner from the water sector. A series of common attendance events will underpin programme and group identity. These include, (i) an initial three-month taught programme based at Cranfield University, (ii) an open invitation STREAM symposium and (iii) a Challenge Week to take place each summer including transferrable skills training and guest lectures from leading industrialists and scientists. Outreach activities will extend participation in the programme, pursue collaboration with associated initiatives, promote brand awareness of the EngD qualification, and engage with a wide range of stakeholder groups (including the public) to promote engagement with and understanding of STREAM activities. Strategic direction for the programme will be formulated through an Industry Advisory Board comprising representatives from professional bodies, employers, and regulators. This body will provide strategic guidance informed by sector needs, review the operational aspects of the taught and research components as a quality control, and conduct foresight studies of relevant research areas. A small International Steering Committee will ensure global relevance for the programme. The total cost of the STREAM programme is £9m, £2.8m of which is being invested by industry and £1.8m by the five collaborating universities. Just under £4.4m is being requested from EPSRC


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

It’s not often the water sector causes many ripples of excitement, but Severn Trent is bucking a downbeat trend after it unveiled an agreed takeover deal. It is buying Dee Valley Group, a neighbouring business which operates in Wrexham and Chester, for £78.5m or £17.05 a share. Dee Valley, which has been supplying water for 150 years, has 125,000 customers in northeast Wales and northwest Cheshire. Severn chief executive Liv Garfield said: Severn Trent shares are up 51p at £21.90 on the news. The sector has also benefitted from Citigroup raising its recommendation to neutral on Severn, Pennon, 15p better at 791p, and United Utilities, up 7.5p at 883p. Overall the FTSE 100 is down 11.01 points at 6781.73 as investors pause for breath again, and the UK jobless rate falls to an 11 year low but benefit claims rise. Rolls-Royce is leading the fallers, down 26p at 728.5p after the aero engine maker said it aimed to deliver cost savings at the top end of its guided £150m to £200m range to cope with mixed markets. It also announced more details of a change in accounting policy. George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: Five profit warnings in the 20 months up to November 2015 means Rolls-Royce shareholders have had anything but a smooth ride recently. Over this time, the group’s credibility took a pasting and its accounting policies were widely criticised. For example, Rolls previously accounted for aftermarket revenues, the maintenance and service work done after the engines are initially sold, upfront. But when customers started to retire old planes rather than have existing ones serviced, much of that cash never materialised. The new accounting policies mean that last year’s profits will be restated, and adjusted down by £900m. However, that doesn’t affect what is actually coming in to the group’s coffers, only when it’s accounted for. The new system should mean greater clarity moving forward. Operationally, the group is undergoing some major restructures. Investors will hope that it emerges as a leaner and more transparent company. However, the road ahead could be a long one, and as Rolls-Royce has found, it is best not to count any chickens before they have hatched. Barratt Developments has fallen 12.5p to 470.4p after the housebuilder’s latest update showed it cutting London prices at the top end of the market. Among the mid-caps B&M European Value Retail continues to rise following Tuesday’s update, adding 10.9p to 255.9p as Jefferies moved from hold to buy with a 285p target. It said: But Ocado has dropped 19.1p to 263.1p as one of its partners Morrisons unveiled an increased deal with Amazon. Bruno Monteyne at Bernstein said:


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

AS Tallinna Vesi completed construction works on Tihase collector on 30.11.2016. It was a very important and complicated engineering project with an investment totalling approximately EUR 6 million. Tihase collector forms a part of the Tallinn sewerage system that is used to lead off wastewater and stormwater from Mustamäe and Kristiine to the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Paljassaare. As the reconstruction of Tihase collector was technically far more complex than the usual everyday engineering projects, the Company engaged specialists and engineers from both Estonia and the UK (AS Tallinna Vesi’s major shareholder United Utilities). The works performed on Tihase collector lasted over 18 months in total. Today the collector is fully operational and the car park and light traffic road in the vicinity are again open. The works to restore the green area in the surroundings of Tihase collector will be done in spring 2017.


News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

The hearings of the international arbitration proceedings between AS Tallinna Vesi and the Republic of Estonia will be held next week from November 7th  – 11th November 2016 and the following week on November 14th – 15th, 2016 in Paris, France. All hearings will be broadcasted live on the ICSID website. In addition, certain key documents issued during the arbitration process are disclosed on the ICSID website. The decision is expected in 2017. In October 2014, AS Tallinna Vesi and its shareholder United Utilities (Tallinn) B.V., registered in the Kingdom of The Netherlands, commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Estonia for breach of the Agreement on the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the Kingdom of The Netherlands and the Republic of Estonia.


The hearings of the international arbitration proceedings were held on 7 – 11 November 2016 and on 14 – 15 November 2016. All hearings were broadcast live on the ICSID website. The recordings of the arbitration hearings, which were held in Paris, have now been made available on AS Tallinna Vesi’s website. The recordings are arranged by days and are accessible at the following link: www.tallinnavesi.ee All submissions of materials made during the arbitration proceedings are publicly available also on the ICSID website. In October 2014, AS Tallinna Vesi and its shareholder United Utilities (Tallinn) B.V., registered in the Kingdom of The Netherlands, commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Estonia for breach of the Agreement on the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the Kingdom of The Netherlands and the Republic of Estonia. The international arbitration hearings were held in November 2016 and the decision in the matter is expected in 2017.


News Article | February 29, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

On a vast manmade lake on the outskirts of London, work is nearing completion on what will soon be Europe’s largest floating solar power farm – and will briefly be the world’s biggest. But few are likely to see the 23,000 solar panels on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir at Walton-on-Thames, which is invisible to all but Heathrow passengers and a few flats in neighbouring estates. “This will be the biggest floating solar farm in the world for a time - others are under construction,” said Angus Berry, energy manager for Thames Water, which owns the site. “We are leading the way, but we hope that others will follow, in the UK and abroad.” Five years in planning and due to be finished in early March, the £6m project will generate enough electricity to power the utility’s local water treatment plants for decades. The energy will help provide clean drinking water to a populace of close to 10 million people in greater London and the south-east of England, a huge and often unrecognised drain on electricity, rather than nearby homes. Why put solar panels on water? The answer, according to Berry, is that the water is there, and might as well be used for this purpose. Floating panels, covering only about 6% of the reservoir, will have no impact on the ecosystem, he says. Though waterbirds, including moorhens and gulls, live on the margins, and a thin scum of litter is visible at the shore, the reservoir is not intended as a home to wildlife, and any fish living here are accidental visitors. Eighteen metres deep, it provides water for Londoners in a constantly churning stream. Although most of the population growth in London tends to be towards the east, most of the water still comes from reservoirs to the west of the city. But future projects to make use of water companies’ reservoirs in order to provide solar power might be in doubt, Berry said. The current government has slashed subsidies for solar and wind power. Berry said that this would not affect the QEII project, but might have an effect on whether follow-up projects could go ahead. “We have had to look very closely at the economics of this, at all stages,” he said. “It is not clear what the future economics would be [for other potential projects].” A similar floating solar farm with around half the capacity of the Thames Water project is being built by water company United Utilities on a reservoir near Manchester. Construction of an even bigger farm - at 13.7MW more than twice the QEII farm - is underway on a reservoir in land-scarce Japan and due to finish in 2018. Putting solar panels on the water for the QEII scheme has not required planning permission, though big arrays of similar panels on land require official sanction. The government has decided to ban farmers who put solar arrays on agricultural land from receiving EU subsidies for the land. More than 23,000 solar panels will be floated by developer Lightsource Renewable Energy at the reservoir near Walton-on-Thames, representing 6.3MW of capacity, or enough to generate the equivalent electricity consumption of about 1,800 homes. The reservoir was commissioned in 1962, and remains one of the biggest serving London. Thames Water said that plans for a “super-sewer” under London would not affect the solar power project.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.pressat.co.uk

Southern Water has today (8 December 2016) announced Ian McAulay has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the water and waste water company. The new CEO's official start date is 1 January 2017. Matthew Wright will step down as Chief Executive on 31 December 2016. Southern Water Chairman Robert Jennings said,'I am delighted to welcome Ian McAulay to Southern Water as our new Chief Executive. It is an exciting time for the organisation as we build on solid operational improvements over the last few years and look to deliver improved customer service. 'Ian brings with him extensive experience of managing large complex organisations and overseeing the delivery of many sizeable capital intensive projects in a regulated industry.' As the former Chief Executive of Viridor and Managing Director of Capital Programmes at United Utilities Mr McAulay has extensive experience in the UK regulated utility, construction and environmental services sector. He also has substantial experience of running privately owned entities both in the UK and overseas. He comes with a demonstrable track record of achieving strong operational results and transformational change. Mr Jennings added 'Ian McAulay has demonstrated he is an innovative leader with outstanding experience in developing and implementing business strategy. He joins Southern Water at a time of significant change within the water sector as the competitive market opens in Water and Bio Resources and as the company starts to prepare its business plan for the next review period.' 'I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Matthew Wright for his leadership over the past six years, in which Southern Water has made a sustained improvement both operationally and financially as a result of his efforts.' Mr McAulay said 'This is an exciting time to be joining Southern Water. We provide essential services for our customers but we must improve to meet their expectations. We must also strive to innovate and meet the twin challenges of climate change and population growth whilst growing trust and confidence in the water and waste water services we provide.'

Loading United Utilities collaborators
Loading United Utilities collaborators