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Marubeni to assess the deterioration and estimated useful life of water pipelines in Sendai City

  • Marubeni to assess the deterioration and estimated useful life of water pipelines in Sendai City
    Screen showing visualization of the degree of deterioration of water pipelines in infrawise

About the entity

Marubeni
Marubeni Corporation is a general trading company headquartered in Nihonbashi, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan. It is the fifth-largest sogo shosha and has leading market shares in cereal and paper pulp trading as well as a strong electrical and industrial plants

Themes

Marubeni concluded an agreement on June 21, 2023 after selection as a trustee for the “Consignment of Water Pipeline Asset Management Study” publicly offered by the Sendai City Waterworks Bureau (hereinafter, the “Project”). Marubeni will evaluate the degree of deterioration and estimated useful life of all water pipelines held by Sendai City, and support the creation of future pipeline renewal plans.

This Project will be the first initiative in Japan to evaluate and estimate the useful life of individual water pipes and subsequently analyze long-term, ongoing and future pipeline renewal demand and business effects based on the evaluation results. And Marubeni will utilize “infrawise” to achieve this. infrawise is a priority evaluation service for pipeline replacement using AI and machine learning provided by AGS - Administração e Gestão de Sistemas de Salubridade, SA (hereinafter, “AGS”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Marubeni. 

The target length of water pipeline is approximately 4,500km, the longest in Japan among similar services provided to local governments in the country.  AI (Machine Learning) is used to evaluate the degree of deterioration of water pipelines, and based on the results, pipes requiring rehabilitation are prioritized for reflection in the pipeline renewal plan. It is expected that this will facilitate a pipe failure avoidance rate over two times greater than the conventional methodology of simply renewing the oldest piping.

In Japan, water pipelines that were installed intensively during high economic growth periods are currently facing failures due to pipe deterioration, and replacement demand is expected to increase further in the future. Before now,  estimations of the useful life of water pipes in Japan were categorized by respective material. However, more efficient and effective pipe renewal can be achieved by evaluating the estimated useful life of individual pipes and subsequently analyzing long-term, ongoing and future pipeline renewal demand and business effects based on the evaluation results. Water pipelines account for around 70% of the assets for water utilities, and appropriate pipeline renewal will help maintain the provision of good water services and improve revenue rates*, facilitating the sustainability of water utilities projects.

Marubeni has managed water utilities in Portugal for many years through AGS. In addition, Marubeni implements water supply and waterworks consignments in countries such as Philippines and Chile, as well as seawater desalination projects in Saudi Arabia and Chile, providing services to a total of approximately 16.5 million customers, and is committed to ongoing contributions to the operation of sustainable water supply businesses.

* The ratio between the amount of water distributed by the water utilities provider and the amount of water received as a charge.

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