Company linked to Vista Ridge Pipeline files for bankruptcy protection in US

Abengoa poised to lose 80 percent stake in Vista Ridge project

SAN ANTONIO – The company at the center of the Vista Ridge Pipeline project has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

That's after Abengoa SA filed for pre-insolvency last fall in Spain, where the company is headquartered.

The company's financial struggles have raised questions about the potential impact to the Vista Ridge Pipeline project, which will build roughly 140 miles of pipeline to pump water from Burleson County to Bexar County.

In a written statement issued Tuesday, San Antonio Water System spokesman Gavino Ramos said, "The Chapter 15 filing is an extension of the existing insolvency proceeding in Spain. It is a recognition of the proceeding by the US Courts. It has no direct impact on SAWS rights and obligations."

SAWS President and CEO, Robert Puente, confirmed last week that the construction company involved in the project, Garney Construction, is poised to take control of Abengoa's 80 percent stake in the pipeline.

Earlier this year, Abengoa told the SAWS Board of Trustees it did have the funding to support its 80 percent stake.

If approved by the board in April, Abengoa would have a 20 percent stake in the pipeline project as a silent partner, SAWS said.

The water utility maintains the project is necessary to ensure the future of the San Antonio water supply and that customers' water rates will not be impacted by Abengoa's financial struggles.

The San Antonio City Council approved water rate increases last fall to help fund the pipeline.

About the Author:

Myra Arthur is passionate about San Antonio and sharing its stories. She graduated high school in the Alamo City and always wanted to anchor and report in her hometown. Myra anchors KSAT News at 6:00 p.m. and hosts and reports for the streaming show, KSAT Explains. She joined KSAT in 2012 after anchoring and reporting in Waco and Corpus Christi.