Brazil ‘primed’ for sanitation privatizations

Exclusive: Private investment into Brazil’s water and wastewater sector looks set to be a significant area of growth in the coming years, experts have said.

A winner for a major sanitation project in Alagoas was announced at the start of October, and it is seen as potentially the first of many schemes that will be delivered across Brazil in the future.

“We have been talking about the privatization of sewage and water in Brazil,” said Paulo Lopes, partner at Campos Mello Advogados based in Rio de Janeiro.

“It is an area that the pandemic has revealed as a big opportunity and it has attracted a lot of attention.”

He pointed to Rio’s own water and sewage organization, Cedae, where the idea of privatization of the water system has been considered, as well as highlighting projects that are already ongoing in other parts of the country to deliver P3 infrastructure.

Brazil recently approved a new law reforming the procurement, structuring and regulation of P3s in the water sector, a move that could prove crucial in attracting the foreign capital needed to scale up developments.

“Based on a number of reforms that some countries have been doing in their regulations, and the way they structure and tender P3s; we’ve seen an increased interest from international investors into these markets – no doubt about that,” another source in the region added.