Other companies

Aquaser

The company was set up in order to manage ancillary services associated with the integrated water cycle, carrying out the recovery and disposal of sludge from biological treatment and waste produced from water treatment, treating effluent and liquid waste and providing the services connected thereto.

In particular, it currently carries out the transport and recycling of sludge from treatment plants for ASA S.p.A., the operator of integrated water services in ATO5 along the Tuscan coast, Acquedotto del Fiora S.p.A., the operator of integrated water services in ATO6 Ombrone, ATO2 S.p.A., the operator of integrated water services in ATO2 Lazio and ATO 5 S.p.A., the operator of integrated water services in ATO5 Lazio. Furthermore, from 2010 the Company has carried out the transportation and recovery service for treated sludge on behalf of the company UMBRA ACQUE S.p.A.

Additionally it manages the Le Ferriere platform located in Piombino for the treatment of urban rubber waste.

The recovery is mainly carried out by spreading sludge in farming based on third party clearances and the delivery to third party composting plants.

With the acquisition of control of companies Solemme Spa and Kyklos Srl during the second half of 2008, AQUASER started a positioning process on the reference market, by acquiring proprietary plants enabling it to carry out a part of the recycling process itself, and to reduce fluctuations in prices linked to the waste treatment market, which are highly volatile and subject to speculation.

The location of the plants is also extremely important from a strategic viewpoint, with one in Lazio, which processes the sludge transferred under the contract with ATO2 and ATO5, and one in Tuscany near Grosseto, which processes the sludge transferred under the contracts with FIORA and ASA. This has resulted in a reduction of transport costs.

Plant ownership strengthens the role of AQUASER as a qualified operator in its own sphere of reference, with a goal of ever increasing freedom from reliance on plants it does not own, with a view to increasing the level of service already provided continuously to its own clients/partners.

The company obtained two more authorisations in the first few months of 2010, in addition to the one already received in 2009, for the recovery of sludge from agricultural activities at the Piscini and Bottinello farms. Direct ownership of the authorisations for the recycling of sludge in the agricultural sector makes the company more independent from third-party suppliers. Activities are currently underway to obtain additional authorisations for the recovery of sludge in the agricultural sector.

In addition, the in-housing of logistics management activities was completed during the year.
2010 confirmed the expansion of the company both in terms of turnover and operating profitability.

The market in which the Company operates was marked by an increase in the costs of delivering sludge to the disposal sites and increased transport costs. Despite this, however, thanks to the sales initiatives created in the area of identifying and contractually signing up plants, and to the stipulation of transport contracts, the Company has managed to limit its effect, thereby maintaining its profits at similar levels.

As regards the platform for the liquid waste treatment located at the “Ferriere” plant in Piombino, this is helping to increase the operating profitability although the plant is still partially operational.

From a strictly organisational point of view, the company has launched the structuring process to release the company from dependence on the services provided by shareholders, which should be completed with the acquisition of an equity investment in ISA S.r.l., in the first few months of 2011. This company provides logistics and transportation activities and, therefore, represents a strategic element of fundamental importance and merely complements the activities performed by the company, a completion of the missing link in the production chain managed by AQUASER and the development of tools acquired through the acquisition of the ACEA RIETI business unit.

As regards individual orders, operating profitability is closely related to both the quantities of sludge treated and, more specifically, the final disposal site and tariff trends in the sector.

In view of this, it is easy to see how investments made by the Company during the year (i) to set up its own recovery plants, and (ii) those made, but not yet finalised, for acquisition of the necessary permits to spread for farm-related purposes - can only lead to improvement of the service offered and reduced recovery and/or disposal and transport costs, mainly due to the distance of the treatment plants from the sludge production sites.

Kyklos

The company operates in the waste treatment sector. It produces and markets moulds, soil conditioners and organic fertilizers and carries out its activities in the areas of Nettuno Ferriere and Aprilia on the basis of an authorisation obtained from the Lazio Region for the recovery of 66,000 tonnes/year.

The purchase by Aquaser took place in the second half of 2008, and has provided the company with direct access to the market for sludge produced by integrated water service operators in the ACEA Group; in addition it enabled the creation of positive synergies related to the experience acquired by Aquaser in the Solemme subsidiary, which owns a similar plant.

2010 was the first year of plant operations following the increase in treatable quantities and saw the company strengthen its market and strategic position.

The Company increased and consolidated the waste volumes recovered within its plant, while increasing its turnover.

In particular, the substantial absence of other similar plants in the region made the company the focal point for the Provinces of Rome and Latina.

In order to reinforce the leadership acquired on 8 June 2010, the authorisation process was launched for the adjustment of the current plant and the enlargement of its capacity up to 120,000 tonnes/year, through the construction of an anaerobic digestion section with recovery of electricity and heat energy.

Solemme

The company operates in the waste recycling sector through the composting of organic waste, in particular sludge from civil waste water treatment.

The purchase by Aquaser during the course of the previous year has opened direct access to the market for sludge produced by integrated water service operators in the ACEA Group to the Company, with special reference to the Tuscany Region. In addition it enables the creation of positive synergies related to the experience built up by Aquaser in the Kyklos subsidiary, which owns a similar plant.

The composting plant, incorporated in the waste Plan for the province of Grosseto is, at the current state of play, the only one that has been constructed and operating, out of those set out in the province plan.

The reference market is represented by urban sanitation sludge produced in the Tuscany region, and in particular, in the context of ATO6 Ombrone, relating to the provinces of Grosseto and Siena, and by the treatment of waste from sorted collection.

The current potential of the plant is not enough to guarantee the recovery of the quantities currently produced for which there is a forecast increase in accordance with increased urban effluent treatment activity.

The difficulties encountered in implementing the integrated solution for energy recovery from sludge led to the decision to commence the authorisation process for the adjustment of the existing plant, also dealing with requests made by local administrations, in order to overcome the delay in the authorisation procedure and guarantee the development and business continuity of the company.

Ecomed

The company (50:50 owned by ACEA and AMA) came out of liquidation on 29 January 2007 in order to set up the CO.E.MA Consortium.

Coema

The Massimetta Ecological Consortium (CO.E.MA.) was established on 30 January 2007 as a partnership between Ecomed S.r.l. holding 67% and Pontina Ambiente S.r.l. 33%, with a duration up to 31 December 2050, which may be extended if the Consortium so decides.

The objective of the Consortium is to establish a common organisation to plan, build and manage a biomass and/or waste electricity production plant for the ecological treatment and transformation of solid urban, industrial and special waste in general, with energy recovery, including energy recovery plants from waste through combustion, pyrolysis and gasification processes, and management of all related preliminary activities.

The project for this plant with an electrical power of 40Mw was approved by the structures of the Lazio Region responsible.

In particular, the Commissioner appointed for the Waste Emergency in the Lazio region, firstly, by Decree 147 of 28 December 2007, approved the aforesaid definitive project; subsequently, by Decree 24 of 24 June 2008, he approved the “State of implementation of the actions carried out to overcome the emergency stage declared by the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (D.P.C.M) of 19 February 1999”, that identifies the central plant for the production of electricity in question, as the reference plant in the context of regional plant availability.

On 8 October 2008, the Territorial Department, Regional Division for Environment and Cooperation of the public, by record no. 177177, gave their positive opinion on the environmental compatibility of the repeatedly mentioned plant, in accordance with article 23 of Legislative Decree 152/06.

Subsequently, by Order no. 2003 of 22 October 2008, the Chairman of the Lazio Region, ordered the Massimetta Ecological Consortium CO.E.MA. to implement the project pursuant to Commission Decree no. 147/2007, “pending procedures for the issue of the Integrated Environmental Authorisation”.

This Integrated Environmental Authorisation, in accordance with Legislative Decree no. 56/05 was then issued, by the Territorial Department of the Lazio Region, with ruling no. B3694 of 13 August 2009.

In June 2009, the preliminary agreement with GSE was signed for the granting of incentives CIP 6/92 for electricity that will be produced by the plant in Albano.

The order, by which the environmental compatibility was approved, and the related authorisations for the plant, were disputed before the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio by certain local committees.

The order to suspend the aforesaid environmental compatibility order was rejected by the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio in March 2009.

In January 2010 (note no. 127 of 19 January 2010), upon invitation of the Lazio region, CO.E.MA. was suggested not to start the work before the ruling of the Regional Administrative Court. This letter was recorded by CO.E.MA. under file no. 9/P of 10 February 2010): “that if the suspension order is not issued, (I) our company will have a right-liability (as it is an entity with a public majority equity investment and urgent public utility work which cannot be delayed) to carry out the activities commenced, insofar as they are expressly authorised and (II) any detrimental event shall not be charged to the Lazio Region". Obligations set out by the Waste Regulatory Plan were also recalled “and the need for completing the intervention within the terms of authorisations granted”.

No further reply was received from the Lazio Region.

However, solely for opportunity reasons, CO.E.MA did not carry out the works externally and materially, while it developed all the additional activities necessary to be able to proceed, in line with the outcomes of the ongoing administrative dispute, without any delay to the construction of the plant while recovering the time lost.

In this regard, the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio combined the administrative appeals and, after the hearing held on 27 October 2010, by means of the provisions issued on 13 and 14 December 2010, cancelled Environmental Impact Assessment index no. 177177 of 8 October 2010 and the Order of the Chairman of the Lazio Region no. 3 of 22 October 2008.

CO.E.MA. promptly submitted an appeal.

In December 2010, the Lazio Region adopted the scheme of the Waste Management Plan, which also includes the Albano gasification plant among the plants to be constructed, with operations expected to start in 2014.

Apice

The company A.PI.C.E. S.p.A., formed on the 7 May 2008 by ACEA S.p.A. (50%) and Pirelli & C. Ambiente Renewable Energy S.p.A. (50%), has as a company purpose involving activities falling within the sphere of waste recycling and treatment, with the purpose of producing electricity, and related ancillary work such as the purchase, sale, conversion, construction and management of industrial plants in the sector.

The company is currently inoperative.