Utility privatization could provide opportunities for SMEs, association says

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The privatization of water utilities in Mexico would provide interesting opportunities for SMEs as long as the government provides clear legal assurances for their participation, Roberto Olivares, executive director of municipal water utilities association Aneas, told BNamericas.

"It's positive in that it would allow the participation of small and medium-sized businesses in the maintenance and construction of infrastructure, providing employment opportunities in Mexico," Olivares said.

Authorities would need to make institutional commitments to allow local firms to improve operating efficiencies, Olivares added.

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Privatization is currently under debate in northern Sonora state's capital Hermosillo, where mayor Javier Gándara Magaña has raised the possibility of concessioning at least part of local utility Agua de Hermosillo.

Local firm Bal-Ondeo is scheduled to provide a report on its analysis of the utility's commercial operations to the city government on February 28, local paper Expresso reported.

Local citizen groups and politicians have rejected the move to privatize the company, according to local press reports.

The full interview with Roberto Olivares is published in this week's Water & Waste Perspectives, for subscribers only.