Mott MacDonald gets Russian water PPP advisory role

The UK engineering and development consultancy has been appointed technical adviser to the Neva water project, the first water supply public-private partnership in Russia. The project is expected to reach financial close in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Mott MacDonald, the UK-based engineering and development consultancy, has been appointed technical adviser for Russia’s first public-private partnership (PPP) in the water sector, known as the Neva water project.

The firm was appointed to the role by SUE Vodokanal of St.Petersburg, the State Unitary Enterprise responsible for the city’s water supply and wastewater services.

The PPP includes the design and construction of a new Northern Water Treatment Plant as well as reconstruction of some facilities at the existing plant, which was constructed 40 years ago. The aim is to increase the total output of safe drinking water from 600,000 cubic metres to 800,000 cubic metres per day, in the process meeting the latest Russian and European water quality standards.

Mott MacDonald will advise on the technical requirements for the design, construction and operation of the new facilities as well as confirming technical solutions for the project, water consumption forecasts and an analysis of capital and operational costs. The firm will also conduct a social and environmental impact assessment.

A private sector partner for the project, which is expected to reach financial close in the fourth quarter of 2012, is yet to be appointed. They will be required to design, build, finance and operate the project facilities for a period of 25 years. The partner will have an offtake agreement with SUE Vodokanal of St.Petersburg for the supply of safe drinking water under the terms of the PPP agreement.

The PPP is being implemented under the St.Petersburg PPP Law, which has resulted in a strong pipeline of PPP projects in St.Petersburg. Although many of these projects were knocked off course by the global financial crisis in 2008, there have been some encouraging developments recently. Last year the €1.1 billion Pulkovo Airport project reached financial close, while last month a consortium of Greek firms signed a 30-year contract for the €300 million Yanino waste plant, Russia’s first waste sector PPP.