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Public-private collaboration and technological efficiency, keys to facing water scarcity in Egypt

  • Public-private collaboration and technological efficiency, keys to facing water scarcity in Egypt
    Group photo of the Orasqualia team who attended to the congress (from left to right): Mahmoud Nasr (Aqualia business development manager), Ahmed Zaki (Orasqualia plant manager), Ignacio de la Quintana y Mahmoud Esmat (Aqualia operations manager)

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.
Schneider Electric


Aqualia, through Orasqualia, the joint venture that forms with the Egyptian engineering and construction giant Orascom, has participated in the 4th edition of the International Water Desalination Conference, celebrated on February 24-27 in Cairo. This congress has brought together the most important actors from the Middle East in general and from Egypt in particular, to approach the sourcing challenge of water supply in this region that accuses one of the largest water deficits on the planet.

Ignacio de la Quintana, Country Manager of Aqualia in Egypt and General Manager of Orasqualia, has participated in the panel Sewage Treatment Plants Water Reuse; uncovering STP considered as a non-conventional water resource: opportunities, challenges and experiences in the region, along with Dr. Ahmed Moawad, vice president of the public operator HCWW (Holding Company for Water and Waste Water), among other panellists.

In the panel, which revolved around potential for reuse of wastewater to cope with the increase in water demand, Ignacio de la Quintana addressed several of the solutions that Aqualia's knowledge can contribute in this area. In Country Manager's words “Desalination, for its high energy consumption, should not be the base of a sustainable system of water. To can accomplish an economically balanced system with society and the environment, Egypt needs to focus on efficient networks management and the best reuse of wastewater, understanding wastewater as a resource, rather than as a waste, and endowing it with value as a whole. In the same way must established provided rates and to put emphasis on the education and awareness of the responsible use of water, as well as in the participation of the private sector with long-term contracts with a single responsible operator -One Water System-. The objective is that this model ends up having a positive impact on the state of maintenance of public infrastructures, in consumer satisfaction and, definitely, in the global sustainability of the system through public-private collaboration”.

Panel about reuse in which Ignacio de la Quintana intervened, second from right

Aqualia in Egypt

Aqualia has just completed the execution of the El Alamein Seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 150,000 cubic meters per day, whereby more than one million inhabitants of northern Egypt are supplied with fresh water.

The company also carried out the design, construction and financing of the New Cairo wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) located in the capital of Egypt. Currently the company is responsible for the management over a 20 year period of this contract, the first adjudged in the country to a public-private collaboration project.

Further, Aqualia is currently executing in the country the contract for the design, construction and operation of the Abu Rawash WWTP in Cairo. The plant, once finished, will treat 1.6 million cubic meters of water per day and will provide service to 6 million people, which will make it the largest in Africa and one of the largest in the world.

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