Metito announces Chinese water investment
Firm announces buyout of Berlinwasser China Holdings stake
Water management specialists Metito and Berlinwasser International have announced the strategic buy-out by Metito of Berlinwasser’s minority stake in Berlinwasser China Holdings (BCH), and subsequent further investments by Metito into its operations in China.
Rami Ghandour, Executive Director, Metito Utilities Ltd, said; “China is rapidly expanding its interest and investment into wastewater treatment and the surrounding industries. Given the Chinese government’s commitment to the protection of the environment, we at Metito see this as a great opportunity to assist them, increase our operations in China and facilitate the growth of our water treatment and waste management investments including the desalination sector.”
BCH, a Hong Kong based company, was formed in 2008 by Metito and Berlinwasser International to expand on the successful operations of two wastewater concessions already held by Berlinwasser and operated by them in China, serving a population of 2.3 million people.
Since its formation, BCH has followed an aggressive approach to the Chinese wastewater market, resulting in multiple wastewater concession wins and one operations and maintenance contract. BCH currently owns and operates five wastewater concession agreements in four provinces in China. Together with expansions to existing plants the concessions now provide services to over 5.3 million people in China and have a current treatment capacity of over 1.2 million m3/d.
Andreas Schmitz, Chief Executive Officer Berlinwasser International said; “We are very proud of our achievement in China and the business growth which has occurred since Metito and ourselves joined together to form BCH. The facilities which have been constructed and which are currently being operated by BCH meet the highest international standards and are comparable with the best wastewater plants anywhere in the world. Whilst for strategic reasons we handed over the reins to Metito we are still committed, for the foreseeable future, to provide technical and logistical support to the company."
The news of the buy-out comes one year on from the issue of preference shares in Metito Utilities Limited which was structured by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and NBK Capital Mezzanine Fund to support access to basic water supply and sanitation services in water-stressed regions in the Middle East and North Africa and expanded to include China. The deal was, at that time, the first of its kind in the Middle East and funds remaining from this investment, plus additional funds from HSBC bank, were used to conclude the strategic buy-out.
Metito has already advanced plans to develop additional three new projects in the near future. The company intends to continue its growth in China by actively pursuing further wastewater projects and expanding BCH’s portfolio to include industrial water, desalination, sludge and solid waste.