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Japanese company buys NSW water scheme

Japanese company buys NSW water scheme

Deanna Constable, Lander & Rogers

Japanese trading company ITOCHU Corporation has acquired a Newcastle wastewater treatment plant with advice from a national firm.

Firms: Lander & Rogers (ITOCHU Corporation); Norton Rose Fulbright (Hunter Water Corporation)

Deal: Japanese trading company ITOCHU Corporation (Japan) purchased the Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme from Hunter Water Corporation.

Value: Undisclosed

Area: M&A

Key players: The Lander & Rogers team was led by partner Deanna Constable (pictured), who was assisted by partners Lisa Gaddie and David Fabian, senior associate Tim Griffiths, and lawyers Stella Lee, Dru Marsh and Kahlee O'Connor.

Deal significance: ITOCHU Corporation (Japan) purchased the Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme (KIWS) from Hunter Water Corporation.

KIWS is an advanced wastewater treatment plant located in Newcastle, NSW that has been operational since November 2014.

It uses a micro-filtration and reverse osmosis process to produce up to 3.3 billion litres of recycled water per year. The water is pumped via a 9-kilometre buried pipeline to chemicals manufacturer Orica under a long-term sale agreement, which ITOCHU will also assume.

Hunter Water and ITOCHU have negotiated and, on completion, will sign a long-term agreement by which Hunter Water will supply the plant with treated effluent. Following completion of the sale, the plant will be operated by SUEZ Australia.

Lander & Rogers lead partner Deanna Constable said: “The transaction follows a competitive tender process undertaken by Hunter Water at a time when the underlying regulatory regime was – and still is – under some fluctuation with amendments passed [but not commenced] to the Water Industry Competition Act and supporting changes to the regulations not yet published.”

She continued: “In parallel to the acquisition and long-term supply negotiations, Lander & Rogers also assisted ITOCHU to finalise the commercial terms of its operations and maintenance contract with SUEZ Australia.”

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