Registration of interest in council water utility assets
Published on 09 March 2021
A registration of Interest process independently managed by Adelaide Equity Partners has revealed market interest exists for the potential ownership and/or management of selected council owned water assets in South Australia.
Multiple national and international parties have registered interest through a market testing process in the assets, located in the cities of Onkaparinga and Murray Bridge.
The combined offering includes community wastewater management systems (CWMS), potable water networks and stormwater harvesting and recycled water reuse infrastructure.
The councils are now satisfied that enough interest exists to provide a competitive tendering environment and will soon seek detailed proposals from the interested parties.
The councils have determined a range of objectives that proposals will need to respond to.
This includes paying a fair price for the assets and providing competitive customer pricing while maintaining service levels for customers.
The councils are also interested in how parties may invest in or expand the schemes.
It is anticipated the formal tender process will be completed by the end of 2021.
The elected members of each council will be provided with the necessary information to effectively compare and assess proposals against the continued council ownership and management of the assets.
Should a decision be made to proceed towards possible divestment of the assets, community engagement will be conducted to further inform the elected members’ decision-making.
A consortium spokesperson said that no commitment has been made at present to sell or to divest the management of any of the assets.
“There are a wide range of possible outcomes from this process that may be beneficial to the councils, water service customers and all ratepayers.”
“The councils already operate these assets to a high standard, but this market testing and tender process is about seeing whether the assets can be optimised even further, either through sale or a different management model under continued council ownership.”
Adelaide Hills Council was also initially involved in the market exploration with Onkaparinga and Murray Bridge councils, but recently decided to withdraw following a decision by their elected members.
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