Aqualia has once again established itself as a leading player at the 2022 Saudi Water Forum, Saudi Arabia's main event for the water sector, which brings together the main public bodies and private companies operating in the Kingdom. The event, held in Riyadh and hosted by the Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Engineer Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, took place on 6, 7 and 8 March and featured a large exhibition area, as well as a technical congress, focusing on water security and sustainability.
The company participated in the event by showcasing its extensive experience in the management and optimisation supply networks. Carlos García, a technician from the International Area, spoke on the Operational Excellence and Smart Grids panel. Aqualia's representative shared a table with other important players in the sector, such as Piers Clark, chairman of Isle Utilities, and Khaled Alqureshi, CEO of the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), the public body in charge of the participation of private companies in the gigantic programme of state concessions for water infrastructure.
In addition, Aqualia had a stand in the recital area where it presented, among other projects in the region and prominently, its latest agreement in Saudi Arabia: known as the South Cluster, through which it will manage water for more than 5 million residents in southern Saudi Arabia. This agreement includes the 7-year management of, among other assets, 59 water treatment plants, 380 reservoirs, 330 pumping stations, 127 tank filling stations, 20,000 kilometres of main pipelines, 43 wastewater treatment plants and 7,000 kilometres of sewerage networks in the southern regions of Asir, Baha, Najran and Jazan.
Aqualia: more than a decade of work in the Middle East
Aqualia has been working in the Middle East since 2011. In the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, the company spent five years developing a major project to optimise the city's water supply network to provide a better service to over 3 million residents.
In the same country, Aqualia is also currently managing the administration of the services affected by the capital's metro works (also implemented by the FCC group) and has operated and maintained the Hadda and Arana wastewater treatment plants in the city of Mecca, with half a million inhabitants served.
In early 2020, Aqualia acquired 51% of HAAISCO (Haji Abdullah Alireza Integrated Services Ltd) from the Saudi Arabian group Haji Abdullah Alireza, which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of several desalination plants in Saudi Arabia. These include the King Abdulaziz International Airport plant in Jeddah, a concession of the Qatarat company, in which Aqualia also acquired a 51% stake in the same operation.
These acquisitions marked the beginning of an alliance that in a short period of time produced significant successes, such as the award in 2021 in Jizán (southwest of the Kingdom) of the water supply to one of the main industrial complexes in Saudi Arabia.
Aqualia also operates and maintains, through HAAISCO, two other desalination plants in Saudi Arabia: KAUST University's reverse osmosis seawater plant in Thuwal, which produces 52,250 m3 per day. It also manages the Rabigh MED (multi-effect distillation) desalination plant for Aramco-Sumitomo, with a daily production of 10,000 m3.