Activities abroad

Acea operates abroad in the water services sector, in Peru, Honduras, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, serving overall around 9.7 million inhabitants. Even if, in terms of consolidation percentage, activities abroad have a contained incidence from an economic-financial standpoint, it is deemed useful, due to their social relevance, to provide a concise description all the same.

The activities, carried out by special purpose companies created in partnership with local and international partners, aim to improve the service, in situations where it is particularly lacking, with regard to its technical, management, administrative and commercial aspects; under such circumstances, Acea ensures the training of the human resources and the transfer of know-how to the local business class.

This section offers a brief summary of the main features of the operating companies and their mission in the countries of reference, describing the projects and the socially and environmentally relevant initiatives.

The new Group Ethical Code92, 2012 edition, has been disclosed care of all the foreign investee companies, available on the company website (, in Italian and in English.

Consorcio Agua Azul SA

Consorcio Agua Azul was established with the mission of producing drinking water for the local publically-owned water company: SEDAPAL (Drinking water and sewerage service in Lima). The Consortium has built the infrastructures necessary for satisfying part of the drinking water needs in the northern area of Lima, in Peru, using the surface and underground water of the River Chillón; it will maintain operational responsibility for the same until 2027, when the services will be transferred to the State.

During 2012, 46.2 Mm3 of drinking water was produced, 2% less than in 2011, due to the minor availability of surface water whose exploitation decreased 7%.


Peru (northern area of Lima - Cono Norte)
Inhabitants served 750,000
Customer Sedapal (State-owned drinking water and sewerage service of Lima)
Source of funding Shareholders’ equity and bonds issued on the Peruvian market
Duration of the contract 7 April 2000 – 18 June 2027
Purpose of the project BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) project for the construction and management of the drinking water supply system which exploits the water of the River Chillón and the underlying ground water
Partners Acea SpA 25.5% - Impregilo International Infrastructure N.V. 25.5% - Marubeni Co 29% - Inversiones Liquidas S.A.C 20%
No. of employees as of 31 Dec. 2012 32
Business turnover (in thousands of Euro) 10,894

92In detail, Article 3 of the Group Ethical Code (2012 edition) defines the Beneficiaries and the divulgation of the Code: «The provisions of the code address all Acea staff and those of the subsidiary companies: directors, auditors, management and employees, as well as all those who operate, in Italy and abroad, for the achievement of Acea’s objectives, each within the sphere of their own functions and responsibilities. The companies controlled by Acea receive the Code and adopt it by adapting the same, where necessary, to the peculiarities of their company, on a consistent basis with their operating autonomy. Acea’s representatives in the corporate bodies of the investee companies and joint ventures further the principles and the contents of the Code within their respective sphere of competence. The Company undertakes to further awareness of the Code by the individuals who operate in the company and the other stakeholders so that the principles and conduct prescribed therein represent supports for a corporate culture aspiring to sustainable development and daily guide the corporate conduct».

With regard to the socio-environmental commitment, in 2012 Consorcio Agua Azul confirmed its support for state organisations (such as the National Police Force, primary schools, the Carabayllo fire company), non-profit foundations (such as associations to help drug addicts) and local farmers’ associations, with which it shares use of water from the Valle del Chillón. Furthermore, with regard to the gardening and canteen services, the Consorcio availed itself of small local companies, family run, offering work opportunities to companies in the area. In order to combat the widespread phenomenon of school abandonment, it distributed teaching materials (935 school kits, 30% more than last year) to primary schools and nursery schools in the area. Once again this year, the rucksacks distributed were created entirely from recycled plastic and featured printed phrases which encourage the correct use of the water resource and the respect of the environment. The Consorcio also accommodated, care of its structures, high school and university students and recent graduates, offering them a period of work training. Furthermore, again in 2012 the practical phase of the regional course on the functioning of the rapid filtration plants was carried out, in which graduates from various Latin American countries take part each year.

With regard to the management of the human resources, the Consortium provided 1,646 hours of training, which in particular concerned environmental aspects and above all else related to safety in the workplace. The staff of contractors also took part in these courses.

During festivities, social events were organised, involving the families of employees, as well as the employees of the companies which provide their services to the Consorcio. Toys and sweets were also distributed to the children of employees as well as to the children of the local schools and the children of the local police.

The Safety in the workplace management system was updated in accordance with the new legislation on the subject (Supreme Decree 005-2012-TR), whereas Consorcio Agua Azul already has an Integrated Quality and Environment System certified according to standards UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2004.

Aguas de San Pedro SA  

Aguas de San Pedro (ASP) is the holder of the thirty-year contract for the management of the integrated water service for the city of San Pedro de Sula, Honduras. The company has launched an important work programme for enhancing and improving the water service which foresees the achievement of total coverage of the city, with a continual water service, and the accomplishment of works for catchment and for the treatment of the sewer drains. The number of customers served in 2012 came to around 106,133, 73% of which supplied with meters. The coverage of the drinking water service reached 99% and that of the sewerage service was 83% of the population. Water production came to 82.7 Mm3, 54% coming from wells.


Country (area)Honduras (San Pedro Sula)
Inhabitants served 500,000
Customer Municipal Authority
Source of funding Shareholders’ equity and loans from commercial banks
Duration of the contract 1 February 2001 –1 February 2031
Purpose of the project Concession of the integrated water service for the city of San Pedro de Sula
Partners Acea SpA 31%, IREN SpA 30%, Astaldi SpA 15%, Ghella SpA 15%, Three Comercial 5%, C.Lotti & Associati 4%
No. of employees as of 31 Dec. 2012 416
Business turnover (in thousands of Euro) 21,136

The company continued in 2012 with the social support initiatives and the commitment to safeguard the environment, dedicating itself in particular to the conservation of the El Merendon Nature Reserve, declared a protected zone for the withdrawal of water for San Pedro Sula. Various measures were achieved in the area including the “Merendon” re-foresting, launched in 2004 and progressively being completed; the implementation of campaigns for protection from fires; the construction of a greenhouse system for the cultivation of corn and beans, used by 11 women from the local community to ensure them greater revenues and provide incentive for crops which have a lower environmental impact; the donation of 180 piles for the installation of a rural electricity network benefiting 7 local communities.

There were many initiatives in favour of employees, such as the allocation of scholarships to workers and children of employees with a low salary level, grants for the purchase of books and school materials, training courses on technical and administrative subjects. Furthermore, in order to ensure better medical assistance, a medical unit was set up within the company structures, affiliated with the National Health Service. In 2012, the system was subject to audit by Istituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (the Honduras Social Security Institute), emerging as among the 10 best medical units set up by private companies in the country. During 2012, medical check ups were carried out, along with information campaigns on the prevention of important illnesses and vaccination campaigns (against flu, hepatitis A and B, tetanus, etc.) for employees and their families.

In conclusion, in order to encourage integration and socialisation in-house, during holidays recreational events were organised, attended by employees and their families.

During 2012, the company continued with the certification process for the laboratory in accordance with the ISO 17025:2005 standard, while in November it obtained certification of the Quality Management System in accordance with the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

Acea Dominicana SA  

Acea Dominicana handles the commercial management of the water service in the northern and eastern areas of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. The activities include the management of customer relations, of the billing and estimate cycle, the installation of new meters and work management relating to new connections. The project represents one of the first experiments for private participation in the water services of the Dominican Republic.


Country (area)Dominican Republic (areas north and east of Santo Domingo)
Inhabitants served 1,500,000
Customer Corporación del Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Santo Domingo (CAASD)
Duration of the contract 1 October 2003 – 1 October 2016
Purpose of the project Commercial management of water service
Partners Acea SpA 100%,
No. of employees as of 31 Dec. 2012 134
Business turnover (in thousands of Euro) 2,892

Once again during 2012, Acea Dominicana continued with the campaign to raise the awareness of the population with the aim of developing the water resource and getting them to recognise the importance of paying for this service.

The number of employees as of 31 December 2012 came to 134 with a high percentage of female staff (41% of the total).

With regard to human resource management, Acea Dominicana operates in accordance with Dominican Republic Employment and Social Law legislation, adopting corporate policies to safeguard the rights and dignity of employees. On a consistent basis with this approach, what is more, a private health insurance policy has been taken out and a fund set aside to ensure severance pay, both of which not mandatory in the Dominican Republic.

Aguazul Bogotà SA ESP

Aguazul Bogotá sees to the commercial management of the water service and the distribution networks in Bogotà, in 3/5ths of the capital of Colombia. The activities cover the management of the entire billing cycle, customer care activities including the call centre, the running and ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the water mains, emergency service, loss detection and quality control for the service. 2012 was the last year of management of the contract signed in 2008. The public administration authorities in fact manifested their desire to once again insource the activities carried out by private operators since 2003.


Country (area)Colombia (Bogotà, zones 1, 2 and 5)
Inhabitants served 4,500,000
Customer Empresa de Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Bogotà (EAAB)
Duration of the contract 2 January 2003 - 31 December 2012 (two contracts)
Purpose of the project Commercial management of the water service, running and maintenance of the distribution network
Partners Acea SpA 51%, Gruppo Emdepa 29%, V. Cavalli 10%, L.E. Belalcazar 10%
No. of employees as of 31 Dec. 2012 930
Business turnover (in thousands of Euro) 32,739 (*)
(*) includes 60% of the Consorcio AZB-HCI revenues

In 2012, the company continued its commitment in favour of the citizens, in particular the most disadvantaged local communities, by means of the organisation of meetings and participation in events organised by the municipal authority, during which the citizens were informed of the rights and duties linked to the water service, educated to read and comprehend the bill and supported for the solution of possible problems associated with the same. Furthermore, activities were carried out aimed at safeguarding the water bodies of the city and their correct use as well as the correct use of the system for collecting rain water, for the purpose of reducing floods and other problems linked to the heavy rains.

During the year, Aguazul Bogotá hosted 73 students, including 12 from universities, who carried out a period of practical training within the company defined within the sphere of agreements with the National Learning Service (SENA) of the Ministry for Social Protection.

Human resource management once again envisaged in 2012 the use of local unskilled labour resident in the areas of service, with the aim of developing more disadvantaged areas. Training courses were provided during the year in various spheres such as IT, work safety and the quality management system, in addition to aspects pertaining to the water service, for a total of 5,250 hours of training as well as 420 hours of training for new recruits. Sport and recreational activities were organised as well during 2012, involving employees and their families.

Aguazul Bogotà has a Quality Management System certified in accordance with the ISO 9001:2008 standard. A Health and safety in the workplace and environmental protection management system also operates in-house.

Consorcio Aguazul Bogotà-HCI

Aguazul Bogotà and the Peruvian HCI Group established Consorcio AZB--HCI  which was awarded the contract for managing the commercial services in the northern area of Lima, in Peru. The contract, commencing on 1 July 2010, has a three-year duration and includes the management of the billing cycle, the maintenance of the meters, the updating of the customer database and the installation during the first two years of management of new meters.

Activities for meter installation were completed in 2012, for a total of 270,690 new meters installed.


Country (area)Peru (northern area of Lima)
Inhabitants served 2,500,000
Customer Sedapal (State-owned drinking water and sewerage service of Lima)
Duration of the contract 1 July 2010 - 30 June 2013
Purpose of the project commercial management of water service and installation of meters
Partners Aguazul Bogotà 60%, HCI Group 40%
No. of employees as of 31 Dec. 2012 377
Business turnover (in thousands of Euro) 12,950 (*)
(*) included in the revenues of Aguazul Bogotà for 60%.

The Consortium achieved the awareness-raising campaigns once again in 2012 on the value of the water resource and the importance of the metering of the consumption care of the resident population in the area of service.

With regard to human resource management, comprising 377 individuals during the year, the Consortium complies with the legislation envisaged by Peruvian Employment and Social Law and adopts corporate policies to safeguard the rights and dignity of employees.