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Good news from Grafschaft: this local authority located in the rural district of Ahrweiler founded a public private partnership (PPP) with REMONDIS EURAWASSER GmbH at the beginning of the year. Due to run for a period of 10 years to begin with, this collaboration promises to deliver reliable water management services and stable fees and charges as well as additional services for local industrial firms.
For over 12 years now, REMONDIS EURAWASSER has been providing Grafschaft with an extensive range of services covering both the commercial and technical operations of its wastewater plant and waterworks. The local authorities decided to put these out for tender across Europe in 2017 – a contract that would also include building and operating a wastewater pre-treatment facility. The goal of this tender process was to found a PPP firm, which would then take over responsibility for providing all these services. Following some renegotiations, the contract was signed in February 2020 to establish Regionalwerke Grafschaft GmbH, in which the District of Grafschaft owns 51% and REMONDIS EURAWASSER GmbH 49% of the shares. On signing the contract, Mayor Achim Juchem expressed his pleasure at this latest development: “By founding Regionalwerke Grafschaft, we have succeeded in setting up a strong partnership for the future that will be able to make the most of REMONDIS EURAWASSER’s experience and know-how to deliver the best possible services for both our residents and the industrial businesses in our region.”
Putting pen to paper: (front row, from left to right) Andreas Schneider, Treasurer of the District of Grafschaft, and Christoph Lasek, Managing Director REMONDIS EURAWASSER GmbH, signing the PPP contract in the presence of (from left to right) Dieter Dismon (District of Grafschaft), Robert Ristow (EURAWASSER), Achim Juchem (Mayor of Grafschaft), Mario Schellhardt (EURAWASSER), Andrea Thelen (EURAWASSER) and Kathrin Brenner (REMONDIS)
Mario Schellhardt, Managing Director REMONDIS EURAWASSER
This public private partnership will create a number of benefits for the District of Grafschaft, which is home to around 11,000 inhabitants and numerous industrial and manufacturing firms. Besides having direct access to the REMONDIS Group’s know-how and network of plants and facilities, this PPP will also allow the investment risks to be shared. Both partners have taken advantage of this right from the start: a new plant for treating production wastewater is to be built by Regionalwerke in the future. Pilot tests have already started. Moreover, the joint venture will continue to deliver the services previously provided by REMONDIS. These include, among others, managing the more than 200 kilometre sewer and drinking water networks, nine pumping stations and six drinking water reservoirs stretching across 17 different districts. REMONDIS managing director, Mario Schellhardt, is looking forward to providing many more such Regionalwerke services: “Investment models such as this one enable local authorities to control how central water supply and wastewater treatment networks are set up in their district while limiting their risk by making the most of our know-how. Guaranteeing reliable services, protecting districts against flooding and generating innovative energies are all topical subjects that affect everyone and must be tackled together.”
One of the biggest companies in the region, the sweets manufacturer HARIBO, will also benefit from the public private partnership between the local authorities and REMONDIS. In the future, the firm’s production wastewater, which contains high levels of sugar, will be used to make biogas. Plans are to build a new pre-treatment facility in the Innovationspark Rheinland (IPR / Rhineland Innovation Estate), close to the firm’s premises, and have it up and running in 2021. The green energy generated by this system will then be fed into the grid. By doing so, the District of Grafschaft will be a step closer to being less dependent on external sources of energy.