15 thoughts on “Troubled Abengoa Files for Protection from Creditors

  1. Turbulent times – great article.

    FYI, think it’s Ramiro Cavazos with a “Z” instead of an “S”. Must protect the name! 🙂

  2. The SAWS Board were the decision makers in selecting Abengoa. It would be beneficial for the sake of information and transparency to hear from their Chairman on the vetting process.

  3. Give credit to Mr. Cavazos for sticking to his political friends in city hall despite having information indicating Abengoa was in financial stress, “…but their company is probably going to have to go through a painful restructuring to come out of this situation,” said Ramiro Cavazos, President and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.” Also, what does is say about the A&M entity downgrading the Vista Ridge project from a “high” to “medium” risk project? I sure would not ask for their advice on any future water projects.

      • Bob, I have not had the time to read the 784 page agreement in the link you provided. However, I did browse the fact sheet which indicates this project will provide water for 163,000 households. The project costs $3.4B dollars. If you assume each of the 163,000 families will spend $2,500 a year on water those families will have paid for the Vista Ridge project in a little over 8 years. In the meantime the current ratepayers are also paying for the project with the rate increase imposed on them (not sure how much SAWS projects to receive from this rate increase, maybe the $3.4B?). Is SAWS getting paid for the project twice? Also, I have not read anything that said the additional rate increase to fund the project will go away at any time creating an additional revenue source for SAWS indefinitely. Am I missing something? Thanks. Ken

        • Ken, We would have to submit your question to SAWS for a more detailed response, but offhand, I’d say your financial assumptions are off. the average annual SAWS bill for water and wastewater is much lower than your $2.5K number, I believe. Mine certainly is much lower. SAWS also anticipates the approved rates being lower if any of the VR water is sold to other utilities or municipalities. The rate increases, however, are only partially based on the VR water purchase. The EPA mandate to spend $1.1B on wastewater system improvements, and the cost of funding the brackish water desal plant construction through three phases in south Bexar County account for more of the rate increase than the VR water. Finally, if the pipeline gets built, it reverts to SAWS after 30 years with a 30-year option on all the contracted water in Burleson and Lee counties. Does that help? iF you need more we can pose the Q to SAWS for a response. –RR

          • Thanks Bob. I agree I was being generous with the monthly water bill projections. According to the fact sheet only $12 of the rate increase will be needed for the VR project.
            Q: How much will the Vista Ridge Pipeline project cost?
            A: San Antonio boasts the lowest water bill of any major city in
            Texas. It is currently estimated that the average residential
            bill will be approximately $88 in 2020, of which no more than $12
            will be needed to pay for the water provided through this project.
            Most importantly, however, is that San Antonio will only pay for
            water that is delivered. That means any risk to the delivery of
            water falls on the private developer, not on the SAWS ratepayer.

            If you can pose to SAWS the question of how long they will need the $12 rate increase in place to pay for the project, that will be much appreciated. Also, when SAWS says the ratepayer will only pay for the water provided, is that a separate cost to the $3.4B number? In other words, is SAWS committed to paying for the infrastructure and will only pay for water provided? I believe that is the case. If so, there is no risk for paying for water not delivered, but their is a risk SAWS could invest $3.4B dollars and not receive a drop of water if I read the above question and answer correctly. Thanks.

          • Bob, one other question. If you can find out how many residential ratepayers they assume in their projections, that would be helpful info too. Thx

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