Black & Veatch Spins Off Asset Management Company
- By Water & Wastewater News Staff
- Oct 20, 2009
To leverage its water and energy industry capabilities, Black & Veatch has launched infraManagement Group LLC (iMG), a wholly owned subsidiary that will draw on the experience and expertise of the parent company to help cities and private utilities monetize their assets through concession contracts.
According to Dick Heenan, chief operating officer of the subsidiary, the board of directors approved formation of the entity in March. He explained that, as the company is starting to pursue clients, it is finding that the water and wastewater sector is developing faster than the energy sector. "A lot is being driven by the financial situation and obligations [the public sector has] to citizens," Heenan said.
iMG President Rodger Smith said that Black & Veatch has served these industries for more than 90 years, giving the new firm solid support. “Our services help plant asset owners respond to a range of challenges by reducing business risk, improving plant efficiency and, where appropriate, supporting the monetization of their facilities to raise cash for other community purposes.”
The company provides the following asset management services :
- capital planning and prioritization;
- day-to-day operations and maintenance;
- finance and accounting, including budgeting and planning for operations and capital improvements;
- business support services such as procurement, fleet management, human resources and information technology services;
- major project execution; and
- regulatory compliance and reporting, including supporting plant asset owners in responding to priority state mandates to reduce energy consumption in water and wastewater systems.
In a typical case, a city might want to leverage its assets for funding. A financial partner would provide those funds in a contract with the city, typically over a 20- or 30-year period. Heenan said that his company has had discussions with many infrastructure investment firms that are interested in water, wastewater and energy assets and would work with any of them given the appropriate opportunity. iMG would provide any number of its services to help to improve plant efficiency, for example, while the city meets its regulatory and customer needs.
"From our perspective, this has a positive impact. The city can't meet its obligations; now they can. We can improve the efficiency of the assets with our knowledge base," Heenan said. "From a customer standpoint, there's not much of a change if the city maintains its customer contact," he added.
Other companies already working in this market include American Water, United Water, and OMI of CH2M Hill.