Samsung-led consortium wins Bahrain sewage project
Project first of its kind in region including waste water collection
A consortium formed by South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Company Limited, Abu Dhabi financial services firm Invest AD and the United Kingdom’s United Utilities International Limited has been awarded a concession in Bahrain to build and operate a new sewage treatment plant and waste water system.
The project in Muharraq, in the northeast of the capital, Manama, is the first of its kind in the region as it also incorporates a wastewater collection network component. The plant will process 100,000 cubic metres per day and is scheduled to achieve mechanical completion after 30 months.
Samsung Engineering and United Utilities will handle O&M operations for 24 years after completion.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Works and Ministry of Finance awarded the concession following a financial and technical evaluation of six competitive bids submitted in February 2010.
“This is truly a historic contract, because Samsung Engineering has been given the honor to work on the first BOO/BOT project in Bahrain, which will serve as an integral part of Bahrain’s sanitary infrastructure. Our goal now is to earn a long-term partnership with the Bahrain Ministry of Works by delivering a world-class project, on-time and safely,” said Park Ki-Seok, president and chief executive officer of Samsung Engineering.
All three partners in the consortium are providing equity for the project, with Samsung committing 45%, Invest AD 35% and United Utilities 20%. Developed over three and a half years, the project is being debt financed by the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), Japanese lender Sumitomo Mitsui (SMBC), and French banks Natixis and Crédit Agricole.
“This is a consortium that brings together top infrastructure expertise and finance partners from the Middle East, Europe and Asia,” said Nazem Fawwaz al Kudsi, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi financial services company Invest AD, which also manages listed equities and private equity funds.
“I can only see these kinds of connections proliferating in coming years, as the fast growing economies of the Middle East and Africa region invest heavily in infrastructure as part of long-term development plans.”
The consortium will employ proven high-grade technology in the Muharraq plant, which will serve a strategically important area of Manama, including the international airport, a new industrial park, and a popular residential zone. The project includes taking over, upgrading and operating a portion of the city’s wastewater network.
The Middle East has over US$2 trillion of infrastructure projects underway or in the pipeline, according to consultants MEED Projects. Many projects are part of efforts to use hydrocarbon revenues for economic diversification.