On 19 June 2023, Aquafin and Pidpa joined forces and signed a cooperation agreement to unite forces to bundle their experience in the field of sewerage for a sustainable and more efficient service for cities and municipalities in Flanders.

"Bringing together each other's unique knowledge and experience is crucial to further improving water quality in Flanders and to further improve cities and towns' resilience to drought and flooding," says Eddy Troosters, CEO of Pidpa. 

"As an integrated water company, Pidpa wants to ensure that future generations can still enjoy sufficient, clean water. This requires a global strategy and approach and that is precisely why this cooperation with Aquafin is important," explains Mieke Van den Brande, chairperson of Pidpa.

KPMG worked together with the two water companies in five phases for the preparation and development of a cooperation model in the context of sewerage works. Phase one involved KPMG defining and substantiating the need for increased cooperation between Pidpa and Aquafin through quantitative and qualitative methods; this resulted in a Value Case.

Phase two consisted of identifying a possible collaboration form, considering the vision and expectation of both companies. They worked out a possible collaboration form via top-down and bottom-up working sessions through a detailed context description with corresponding preconditions as well as high-level advantages and disadvantages.

In phase three, KPMG conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the form of cooperation retained. The qualitative analysis consisted of a pros and cons analysis and an impact analysis. The quantitative analysis identified high-level added values in the different defined scenarios.

During phase four, working groups for each theme (account management, asset management, investment works, and maintenance & operation works) began. KPMG facilitated the operation per working group with the final goal of a concretized cooperation model between Pidpa and Aquafin.

The fifth and final phase was the reporting. Here is where the compilation of all the findings from the detailed qualitative, high-level quantitative analysis and concretization of the cooperation model came together in a final report. The final report was used as the basis for a legal cooperation agreement which was officially signed 19 June 2023.

“A division between local and supra-local infrastructure only increases the complexity of managing vulnerable assets. Moreover, interventions on the supra-municipal system can have an impact on the municipal system and vice versa. Being able to view both levels through a single lens therefore has significant added value, both financially and ecologically,” says Jan Goossens, CEO of Aquafin.

A huge congratulations to the KPMG team that carried out this project; Daniël Pairon, Partner, Global Lead KPMG Asset Management Competence Center (Engagement Lead), Jens Pauwels, Manager Advisor (Project Manager), Laurens Goorts, Junior Advisor (Project Resource), and Tim Baert, Senior Manager Advisor (Subject Matter Expert).

The cooperation between Aquafin and Pidpa is a crucial step in ensuring efficient and sustainable sewer management, not only for today but for the future. KPMG is delighted to have facilitated the cooperation of the two water companies as part of this deal, as it holds great importance for its environmental implications in the Flanders region.