Investors should take a look at divestment in water sector

October 22, 2019 - 09:03
Recent reports of contaminated tap water have caused great public concern across Viet Nam, the latest issue for investors in a sector the State is divesting from.


Clean water treatment system being operated in HCM City’s Cần Giờ District. Water production companies are facing the risk of degradation in both quality and reserves of raw water materials. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hải

HÀ NỘI Recent reports of contaminated tap water have caused great public concern across Việt Nam, the latest issue for investors in a sector the State is divesting from.

The State-owned Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO), HCM City's largest tap water supplier, currently has the largest total water production capacity in the market, producing nearly 1.9 million cu.m per day and night.

The company’s water supply capacity is 2.4 million cu.m per day, nine times more than the supply capacity of the Sông Đà Water Plant, run by Sông Đà Water Investment JSC (VCW), one of the major water providers in Hà Nội, whose water was allegedly polluted with waste oil dumped near the water source for its plant.

SAWACO uses water mainly from the two basins of the Sài Gòn and Đồng Nai rivers (94 per cent), with only 6 per cent from underground water. SAWACO said the quality of water from the Đồng Nai River and Sài Gòn River is getting worse.

The company currently has capital of nearly VNĐ5.1 trillion (US$218 million), total assets of VNĐ12.9 trillion, annual revenue of VNĐ4.5 trillion to VNĐ4.8 trillion, and annual profit of some VNĐ360 billion. It has 10 water supply companies in HCM City.

HCM City People's Committee plans to divest capital at SAWACO to below 50 per cent.

Hanoi Water Limited Company (HAWACOM), which owns Yên Phụ Water Supply Plant in Hà Nội and 12 other water plants in other regions, is also in the equitisation list by 2020.

The State will reduce its capital in HAWACOM but keep its holding above 50 per cent. This company also runs six water supply companies and five water equipment firms.

Đồng Nai Water Supply JSC (DNW) has total production capacity of more than 400,000cu.m per day and night. The company runs Nhơn Trạch Water Plant with capacity of 100,000cu.m per day, backed by loans from the Japanese government.

It also operates Thiên Tân Water Supply project with capacity of 100,000 cubic metres per day, in addition to other water supply projects in suburban districts with small capacity of 10,000-12,000 per day.

Bình Dương Water Environment Joint Stock Company (BWE) has charter capital of VNĐ1.5 trillion with water production capacity of more than 380,000 cubic metres per day and night. In 2017, the State lowered its holdings in BWE to 41 per cent.

The company has three water plants and five water supply companies. In the first nine months of 2019, BWE’s revenue exceeded VNĐ1.9 trillion and post-tax profit touched VNĐ305 billion, up 40 per cent over the same period last year.

Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Water Supply Joint Stock Company (BWS) has charter capital of VNĐ630 billion, managing six water plants with total capacity of 180,000 cubic metres per day serving more than 166,000 people in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu.

BWS plans to increase its charter capital from VNĐ630 billion to VNĐ800 billion. It will also raise the capacity of Hồ Đá Đen Water Plant by 125,000cu.m per day.

Hải Phòng Water Supply JSC (HPW) managed eight plants with total capacity of 213,500cu.m per day, with more than 300km of main transmission pipelines and thousands of kilometres of distribution pipelines, serving 265,000 customers.

Thủ Dầu Một Water JSC (TDM) has two water plants, Dĩ An and Bầu Bàng, with total capacity of 137,600cu.m per day. The annual revenue is about VNĐ278 billion, 2018 post-tax profit touched nearly VNĐ190 billion, up 95 per cent year-on-year.

Sông Đà Water Investment JSC (VCW) saw net revenue of VNĐ402 billion in the first nine months of 2019, up 21 per cent year-on-year, post-tax profit was VNĐ199 billion, up by 30 per cent year-on-year.  

VCW currently has two large shareholders, Gelex Energy One Member Limited Liability Company, which owns 60.46 per cent and Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Joint Stock Company (REE), which owns 35.95 per cent. 

The company provides 300,000 cubic meters per day for southwestern Hà Nội.

Last Tuesday, Viwasupco cut service to parts of Hà Nội to clean its pipes and reservoirs after its water was contaminated by oil, affecting more than 250,000 families or about a million people in the capital city. It resumed service on Tuesday without any assurance of the water quality. — VNS