Water. desalination + reuse

DWR NovDec 2015

Water. Desalination + reuse

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Page 18 of 36

| 18 | Desalination & Water Reuse | November-December 2015 projects _________ Dr Trevor Loveday, editor, Desalination and Water Reuse ___ In the time it takes to get a couple of projects underway RWL Water has emerged as a global player in water treatment. The company's energetic chief, Henry Charrabé, talks about the attractions of the small as well as agility and foresight in the face of risk and how he still hasn't had a typical year. New York-based RWL Water is a major player in mid-market desalination, reuse and other water treatment projects in industrial and municipal sectors. Five years ago it didn't exist. How did that happen? "We take a different approach – we are not focused on one market or one geographical area or one product. I truly believe that, from a shareholder point of view, we are giving the best return on investment by building a platform that is shielded from regional, financial and industrial upsets," explains RWL Water's president and chief executive officer, Henry Charrabé. Charrabé summarizes the model as a combination of risk mitigation from building the business internationally and in several market segments and fleetness of foot in following opportunities. Nimble "A company of our size, with the commitment we have, means that we are much nimbler. So if the oil and gas market tanks or some other market has a negative event we are, I think, able to handle it." But he emphasizes that RWL Water is not indiscriminate: "We are not going to be the fixer for everything. So if you come to me for a large project – say you a want a wastewater treatment plant for Chicago – I will tell you that there are other companies better suited to support that. "But if you want a 30 Ml/d desalination plant – a mid-sized project that is exactly us. This is where we're focused. This is where we're strong and we can give you probably the most competitive offer with the best technology available in that space," he says. Within RWL Water's global spread there are, Charrabé says, regions where the opportunities stand out in offering four components that he considers to be particularly attractive: "water scarcity; sophisticated [global business] clients; available funds; and, most importantly, there is an interesting competitive landscape for us where you do not have the very large companies controlling the market. "One of the markets that, to us, was most A small world Charrabé: "If you want a 30Ml /d desalination plant – that is exactly us." interesting was Latin America. We also found the same to be true in the Middle East with all four of the components in place – but historically the Middle East has been a much, much more difficult market to operate in. Nevertheless we are there and we have an office in Dubai with an excellent general manager." Charrabé is, however, quite clear that the attractions of the two markets are not equal: "You have very strong regional competition in the Middle East – but not as much as you have in Latin America. And I think we were lucky to acquire a phenomenal company in Unitek – now RWL Water Argentina – that has great staff and great knowledge of the market. "So now we've built a significant reference there and our Argentinean company is going to move into a larger, new facility. There are still tremendous opportunities for us in Latin America. "Key projects are mostly in

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