in North America
The public-private partnership between the City of Bayonne, NJ and Bayonne Water Joint Venture, an entity that includes SUEZ and private investors managed by Argo Infrastructure Partners LLC, has allowed SUEZ to take the initiative in discovering and resolving critical infrastructure issues that, left unaddressed, could harm the financial health of this city and the physical health of its residents.
The public-private partnership assures that capital will continually be made available to modernize and improve the system in Bayonne. Such investment allows Bayonne to address the challenges of a 21st century city with ease. The commitment to guaranteeing reliable, safe and clean drinking water has become imperative to attract new business and build a smart city for future generations. As SUEZ continues to improve infrastructure, the city continues to grow its customer base and expand its economic development program without developing additional sources of supply
Service delivery improvement: Installation of a new bar screen mechanism to remove solids and debris from entering the stormwater discharge outflow. Removal of a 30-year-old, 4,000-gallon diesel fuel underground fiberglass storage tank with an above-ground, double-hulled unit. Both projects ensure environmental protection for residents and physical protection for workers.
Innovation: The two projects typify the flexibility of the innovative SOLUTION model framework and agreement, which have encouraged investment in a system that had long been neglected. Since closing the transaction (i.e., inception of the PPP) in late 2012, more than $25M has been invested in the city’s water and sewer system to ensure service reliability and environmental compliance. SUEZ has undertaken novel approaches to addressing many other challenges in operating the city’s water & sewer system. For example, during the second quarter of 2020—through the height of the pandemic—SUEZ was able to continue with the inspection of over 14,000 feet of sewer main using innovative acoustic inspection technology in order to meet its contractual obligations.
Municipal budget savings: The public-private partnership between the City of Bayonne and Bayonne Water Joint Venture, an entity that includes SUEZ and private investors managed by Argo Infrastructure Partners LLC, allowed the City of Bayonne to immediately avoid a $240,000 increase in its insurance deductible. Moreover, by proactively detecting—and remediating crumbling infrastructure—SUEZ and Bayonne Water Joint Venture saved large environmental fines that inevitably would have been levied.
Environmental impact: Removal of an underground storage tank saved contaminants from leaking into the soil and groundwater. The new bar screen mechanism will remove debris from CSOs before entering the city’s waterways.
Impact on city economy: Since 2013, the public-private-partnership between SUEZ and the city has led to positive changes in the city’s overall financial health. An immediate result of the partnership was the defeasance of all the system-related debt ($150 million) and the subsequent decision by Moody’s Investor Service to change the rating on the city’s outstanding obligations from Baa1 with a negative outlook to a stable outlook for the first time in five years. Three years after the partnership began, Moody’s further upgraded Bayonne’s credit to A3, reflecting—among other factors—the financial stability the city demonstrated as a result of the upfront payment the partnership provided as well as the long-term stability provided by our SOLUTION.
Business benefits: The commitment to guaranteeing reliable, safe, and clean drinking water has become imperative to attract new business and build a smart city for future generations. As SUEZ continues to improve infrastructure, the city continues to grow its customer base and expand its economic development program without finding additional sources of supply.
Tourism benefits: Fishing, boating and other outdoor activities in and along Bayonne’s waterways has increased in recent years. Replacement of the mechanical bar screen will help ensure the trend increases.