Santa Paula Water Recycling Plant Wins Award

Pacific Environmental Resources Corp. (PERC) and Alinda Capital Partners LLC were presented the Global Water Awards 2009 Water Deal of the Year Award of Distinction for their contribution to the advancement of public-private partnerships in the international water sector, specific to their contract with the Santa Paula Water Recycling Facility.

Former Vice President Al Gore presented the award during a banquet April 27 in Zurich, Switzerland. Readers of Global Water Intelligence and members of the International Private Water Association and the International Desalination Association chose from a short list the top submissions across several categories.

The Santa Paula deal, according to the publication, was a "groundbreaking transaction." It also demonstrated a "bold new direction in the financing of US water infrastructure," removing construction and operational risk from the city and lowering the risk profile over those using tax-exempt financing.

Brian Cullen, president of PERC, said, "We greatly appreciate the recognition the Santa Paula project has received over the past year and believe the pioneering structure of this public-private partnership will be adopted by many other public agencies through the U.S."

Other submissions competing for the award originated from the Middle East and Russia.

The recycling facility, located in Ventura County, Calif., will be a new 4.3 million gallon per day facility. The award winners were contracted in May 2008 and engineering began immediately. Construction began in July 2008. Operations are expected to begin no later than Dec. 15, 2010.

PERC will operate the new facility under a 30-year concession with Santa Paula Water. This will be the first facility of its type to be built under California's new regulations encouraging private investment to meet public infrastructure needs.