IAM holds 50.1% of the share capital of Aguas Andinas and its subsidiaries, the largest sanitation group in Chile and one of the largest in Latin America.
IAM, through its sanitation subsidiaries, provides the services of catchment of raw water, the production, transportation and distribution of water, and the collection, treatment and final disposal of sewage, to a universe of more than 6.2 million people in the Metropolitan, De Los Lagos and De Los Ríos Regions. Its concession areas cover approximately 70 thousand hectares in the basin of Santiago and another 67 thousand hectares in the provinces of Valdivia, Ranco, Osorno, Llanquihue, Chiloé and Palena in the south of the country.
IAM's sanitation companies together have high levels of coverage, similar to the standards of developed nations: 100% in water supplies, 97.9% in sewage and 74.1% in sewage treatment.
Through its non-sanitation subsidiaries, the Company provides services related to the treatment of industrial waste, the sale of equipment and laboratory analysis, which enable it to offer an integral management in the Chilean market.
The sanitation subsidiaries of IAM are the following: Aguas Andinas, Aguas Cordillera, Aguas Manquehue and ESSAL.
The non-sanitation subsidiaries are: EcoRiles, Gestión y Servicios and Análisis Ambientales (Anam).
Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona, Agbar, is the controller of IAM with 56.6% of the share capital, through holder in IAM, through Inversiones Aguas del Gran Santiago Ltda.
Agbar is the parent company of a Spanish business group with more than 140 years of history in the integral management of the water cycle, among other related businesses. Constituting over 130 companies and with more than 20 thousand employees, it provides services to approximately 23 million people around the world.
Its vast experience and constant investment make the Agbar group one of the principal global suppliers of know-how and new technologies related to the provision of sanitation services. Its business philosophy is characterized by continuous improvement, excellence in quality, technological innovation, a capacity to adapt and effective financial management, which generate value for customers and shareholders.
IAM provides the following basic sanitation services through its sanitation companies: catchment of raw water; water production, transportation and distribution; collection, treatment and final disposal of sewage.
The catchment process implies the catchment of the raw water needed to cover Aguas Group customers' demand for drinking water.
In the Metropolitan Region, the sources of water for Aguas Andinas and subsidiaries have high levels of purity as they are located in the highlands of the Andes Mountains, particularly the rivers Maipo and Mapocho. In the south of the country, ESSAL's sources are mostly surface waters, together with groundwater aquifers in its concession zone.
IAM, through the Aguas Group, has the legal title to the usage rights over all its sources, which comfortably cover its production capacity and peak demand in the systems it supplies.
IAM has abundant reserves to ensure supplies in the Santiago basin and provide water resources even in times of drought. The most important water reserves are: El Yeso reservoir, with a capacity of 220 million cubic meters; Laguna Negra, with 600 million m3, and Laguna Lo Encallado, with 10 million m3. In the 10th and 14th Regions, the catchment sources comfortably ensure service continuity so it is unnecessary to have additional reserves.
The production of water is carried out at specialized facilities that convert it to water suitable for human consumption, through a series of both physical and chemical processes.
IAM's sanitation subsidiaries have a combined total production capacity of 37.6 m3 per second, of which 33.4 m3 per second relate to installations in the Metropolitan Region and 4.2 m3 per second to those of ESSAL.
The principal water production plants in the Santiago basin are the Las Vizcachas complex and La Florida plant, with design flows of 15 and 4 thousand liters per second respectively, while in the De Los Lagos and De Los Ríos Regions in the south, there are a series of installations that supply 33 towns and villages in the concession zone.
Once the water is produced, IAM's sanitation businesses focus on its transportation and distribution.
The water is taken to regulation tanks that ensure a suitable pressure and a continuous supply. The Company's subsidiaries have 230 tanks in the Santiago basin with a total capacity of over a million cubic meters. The water is then transported to customers from these facilities through the distribution network.
In the Metropolitan Region, this network is 13,024 kilometers in length, which corresponds to 100% coverage for drinking water customers. In the De Los Lagos and De Los Ríos regions, the distribution network totals 1,861 kilometers, which also provide 100% coverage.
After the water has been used by customers, the sewage collection process starts, which implies the evacuation of it through sewers to the sanitation plants or final disposal points.
Through its sanitation companies, IAM has an efficient collection network that provides consolidated sewer coverage of 97.8%.
In the Metropolitan Region, the collection network, with a length of 10,252 kilometers, is designed to operate by gravitational flow, using the gradient present throughout this concession zone. In the concession areas in the 10th and 14th Regions, sewer network is 1,628 kilometers long.
Sewage treatment implies a complex process of decontamination of waste waters in accordance with the standards set in Chilean legislation, which permit their return to the natural water courses in optimum conditions for irrigation.
IAM has two large treatment plants in the Santiago basin (El Trebal and La Farfana) with treatment capacities of 4.4 m3 and 8.8 m3 per second respectively, 9 local installations and 3 more in the north-east of the concession area. These together treat over 72.4% of the sewage of the Metropolitan Region.
Through the subsidiary ESSAL, the Company has 29 sewage treatment plants with a coverage of over 91% of that produced in the 10th and 14th Regions.
Through its subsidiaries Aguas Andinas, Aguas Cordillera, Aguas Manquehue and ESSAL, IAM supplies sanitation services to more than 1.8 million customers classified as residential, commercial or industry, which represent a market share of over 42% of the country's customers.
This figure represents an estimated 6.2 million people, which makes the Aguas Group the principal sanitation company in Chile and one of the largest in Latin America.
In the Metropolitan Region, the concession zone of Aguas Andinas and subsidiaries covers an area of 70 thousand hectares of the Santiago basin, located in the intermediate depression of central Chile, limited to the north by the Chacabuco hills and to the south at Angostura de Paine.
In the south, the concession zone corresponds to 67 thousand hectares that include 33 localities in the provinces of Valdivia and Ranco in the De Los Ríos Region, and Osorno, Llanquihue, Chiloé and Palena in the De Los Lagos Region.
IAM's subsidiaries have a marked orientation toward the customer, reflected in a constant improvement in its attention processes and compliance with the international certifications ISO 9.000 and ISO 14.000. They are also continually investing in new systems and technological support to maximize efficiency, improve response times to customer requirements and quality, safety and continuity of service.
Their information tools include the operative control center (CCO), the geographical information system (SIG) and a contact center that operates 24 hours a day with real decision powers.
Other related businesses
IAM has developed other non-regulated businesses that complement the sanitation industry and support the principal business. These subsidiaries are the following:
EcoRiles. Provides integral advisory and management services in liquid waste to different industries in Chile and solves their environmental problems related to liquid waste. It is currently operating 27 industrial liquid-waste plants with customers distributed between the 1st and 10th Regions, as a result of a strategic expansion policy for its business. During 2009, EcoRiles began to operate plants in the woodpulp and paper market, and also in the mining market in the north of the country, winning important contracts in both segments.
This subsidiary also retained its certification ISO 9001:2000 in 2009, the result of the serious and committed work of its personnel and support people in quality matters of the Aguas Group.
Gestión y Servicios. As well as its business of selling sanitation materials, this subsidiary has positioned itself strongly in the provision of services related to the maintenance and renewal of water networks, development of energy projects and commercialization of technological know-how.
During the year it reinforced its organizational structure in line with its present business and diversification strategy, and consolidated the operation of the biogas plant at La Farfana, an initiative that has received important recognitions, in particular the "Energy Efficiency 2009 Prize" awarded by the Confederation of Production and Commerce, obtained jointly with Metrogas.
It also reaffirmed its commitment to quality with the re-certification of its commercial processes under the ISO 9001:2000 standard.
Anam. Laboratory dedicated to environmental analysis studies, accredited under Chilean requirements and those of the laboratories network of the Agbar Group.
With an outstanding market positioning, above all in the sanitation, bottled water and salmon farming industries, it is the only company in Chile that has a mobile laboratory with the capacity to assemble initial physical, chemical and micro-biological measurement techniques on site.
Anam has successfully entered the field of odor monitoring and control, ratifying its role as an important company in the environmental area. In mid 2009, it began to operate its Anam Sur division, based on Puerto Montt, to provide services to customers of the region.