AqualiaMACE, Aqualia's affiliate in the Arab Emirates, has been awarded two important O&M contracts in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. One of them involves the operation and maintenance of the sanitation system in the city of Abu Dhabi, as well as in the islands of Al Reem, Al Maryah and Al Saadiyat. Moreover, the Emirates' authorities have renewed the contract to provide sanitation services in the city of Al Ain, in the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi, where the company was already providing services to more than 650,000 people.
With this new contract, the company will provide sanitation services to the capital city's population and will manage a network of 1320 km, including 54 waste water pumping stations that together propel up to 280,000 m3/day (more than 100,000 million litres per year). Furthermore, the contract includes managing a waste water treatment plant located in Saadiyat Island with membrane bioreactor technology (MBR). The concession contract also includes the emptying of septic tanks and the management of two discharge points in the islands of Abu Dhabi and Saadiyat.
Aqualia's bid for the O&M of the sanitation system in Abu Dhabi's capital city and in the neighbouring islands of Al Reem, Al Maryah and Al Saadiyat has been the top bid, ahead of other world-renowned companies such as Veolia, SAUR, Metito or Kharafi, and ahead of the main companies from the Arab Emirates. It is a performance based contract, very demanding in terms of performance, which is assessed based on key performance indicators (KPI). Each contract comprises about thirty of these parameters, concerning issues such as efficiency, environment, quality, or health and safety. The tender specifications establish the minimum thresholds to comply with and the penalties/bonuses to be applied based on performance.
The renewal of the Al Ain contract recognises Aqualia’s management efforts
Furthermore, Aqualia has renewed its O&M contract for the sewerage and waste water treatment system in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, including the city of Al Ain — the second-largest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi — for an additional seven years. With this renewal, the Emirates' authorities recognise the performance indices achieved by Aqualia up to now, managing a network of over 2000 km, including 69 pumping stations and 14 treatment plants.
Both contracts consolidate Aqualia as a leading company in the Emirate, where it is responsible for managing the waste water of almost two thirds of the population. To address the needs of that population, the company has a team of nearly 500 employees of 17 different nationalities. About 70% of the staff come from India and Pakistan (operators, workers, drivers, etc.), including also employees from other South Asian countries such as Bangladesh or Philippines.
Luis de Lope, International Director of Aqualia, emphasises that 'thanks to the work done by our team in the region over the past years we have won contracts in four different countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Oman), achieved management success and secured the recognition of authorities'.
Aqualia also manages other projects in the region, such as the sanitation system in Al Dhakhira (Qatar), which the company will operate for the next 10 years. The project, developed in consortium with the Korean company Hyundai, includes the construction of a waste water treatment plant providing service to more than 205,000 people.
In Oman, Aqualia is in charge of operating the hydraulic facilities at the Sohar Port, one of the most important ports in the north of the country. This contract entails a complex technical challenge, comprising multiple infrastructure for water abstraction and pumping, desalination, water supply, drinking water treatment, and sewerage.
The total value of Aqualia's current contracts in the Arabian Peninsula (in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Oman) amounts to more than 600 million euros. The projects involve, for the most part, concession-type medium or long term contracts, and represent successful partnership models between public and private entities to further development and well-being. Through all of these contracts, Aqualia provides services to more than six million people in the region.