Garney Gains Control Of Vista Ridge Pipeline Project
Garney will oversee the construction and management of the 142-mile pipeline that would bring water to San Antonio from Burleson County. Abengoa, the original majority control partner, now shifts 80 percent of its stake to Garney which is based in Kansas City, Missouri.
Robert Puente, CEO of the San Antonio Water System, says Abengoa will retain 20 percent of the project.“But they have no management authority; they are essentially a silent partner.”
Puente adds that SAWS will only have oversight authority. Garney will be responsible for the project.
“We get to inspect the project. We will see their workmanship, their material, but as far as anything else like that, it’s up to them. We’re simply going to buy the water at the end of the day.”
The transfer of ownership will be complete by June 10. The pipeline was initially projected to cost $3.4 billion.
Garney Chief Operations Officer Scott Parrish said the change strengthened a Water Transfer Purchase Agreement that would save the city money.
“I know a lot of people won’t understand what that did but that really, through these negotiations, protected your rate payers and that will provide savings of $500 million over the life of the contract.”
The Vista Ridge Pipeline has faced months of criticism. Among concerns include the water rights of those in Burleson County and Spain-based Abengoa facing bankruptcy.
When the proposed pipeline is completed by 2020, SAWS claims it will bring 20 percent more water to San Antonio, which it says is enough for 162,000 families.