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Aqualia reinforces its presence in Arabia with a majority stake in a desalination plant in Jeddah

  • Aqualia reinforces its presence in Arabia with majority stake in desalination plant in Jeddah
    Desalination plant in Jeddah's international airport
  • Aqualia signs a deal with Saudi Group HACCO to purchase 51% of Qatarat, the concession holder responsible for the desalination plant in Jeddah's international airport, on the coast of the Red Sea
  • The agreement also includes a 51% share in HAAISCO, HAACO's subsidiary in charge of the operation and maintenance of several desalination plants in Arabia
  • With these two acquisitions Aqualia increases its desalination capacity and reinforces its presence in the Middle East, where it already provides services to more than one and a half million people

About the entity

Aqualia is the water management company owned by the citizen services group FCC (51%) and by the Australian ethical fund IFM Investors (49%). Aqualia is Europe's fourth largest private water company in terms of population served.

Aqualia has just acquired a 51% share in SPV Qatarat Saqia Desalination Company Ltd (henceforth Qatarat), from the Saudi Group Haji Abdullah Ali Reza and Co Ltd (HAACO). Qatarat manages the desalination plant of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, on the coast of the Red Sea.

The agreement reached between both companies includes as well the acquisition from HAACO of another 51% share in HAAISCO (Haji Abdullah Ali Reza Integrated Services Ltd). This is HAACO's subsidiary in charge of the operation and maintenance of several desalination plants in Arabia, including the one managed by Qatarat.

The desalination plant has a production capacity of 42,500 m3 of drinking water per day

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), which manages airports in the country, awarded in 2007 to a consortium led by HAACO the project to build, finance and operate this critical infrastructure through a 20 year concession contract. Aqualia acquires now a majority stake in this business and will proceed to manage the existing contract until 2029.

The desalination plant has a production capacity of 42,500 m3 of drinking water per day and has six first-pass reverse osmosis racks and another two second-pass racks; they provide two different water qualities to suit the different needs at the airport.

HAAISCO operates and maintains another two desalination plants in this Gulf country: the KAUST University seawater desalination plant in Thuwal and the MSF (multi-stage flash evaporation) plant in Rabigh, with a daily production of 52,250 m3 and 10,000 m3 respectively.

Aqualia, who will consolidate both businesses in its global accounts, reinforces notably its presence in the region and increases its desalination capacity in more than 100,000 cubic metres per day.

Aqualia's presence in the Middle East

Aqualia has been working in the Middle East since 2011. In Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh it carried out for five years an important project to optimise the city's water supply network, thus improving the service to more than 3 million residents.

In this same country, Aqualia is currently in charge of the services affected by the capital's rapid transit system works (also carried out by the FCC Group) and has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Hadda and Arana waste water treatment plants, in the city of Mecca, serving half a million people.

In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (UAE), the company manages the operation and maintenance of the sewerage and waste water treatment network in the east of the Emirate, including the city of Al Ain and remote areas, with a population of more than 650,000 people, as well as the operation and maintenance of the sanitation system in Abu Dhabi's capital and the adjacent islands of Al Reem, Al Maryah and Al Saadiyat, with another 630,000 people served.

In addition, Aqualia was chosen in 2014 to manage the sanitation system of Al Dhakhira (Qatar) for 10 years, serving a population of more than 200,000 people.

Lastly, in Oman the Spanish company manages, in a joint venture with Omani company Majis, all the water facilities in the Sohar Port and Freezone, the Sultanate's largest port area.

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