Veolia Japan, a subsidiary of the Euronext-listed French firm Veolia Vie, has won a 20-year contract from the Shizuoka Prefecture city of Hamamatsu to manage part of its wastewater and sewage systems.
This is the first long-term concession granted in the sector as well as its first public-private-partnership – an arrangement now being promoted by the national government to improve country’s facilities.
It is also a “user-pay” project where “water will pay for water” with the cost of the sewerage service covered by income from sales of drinking water.
The utilities providing these services are all still municipally owned so there is as yet no way for institutional investors to participate in improving what is Japan’s biggest infrastructure asset class.
However, the introduction of external management could theoretically enable future privatisations and help relieve an overburdened public purse of some of its load.
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This blog would not exist without the help and humour of Diane Stormont, 1959-2012