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Veolia sets sight on new Middle East investments

The company is currently in the process of mobilising about $200mn worth of investments in power and water projects in the region

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Xavier Joseph, CEO, Veolia Middle East
Xavier Joseph, CEO, Veolia Middle East

Veolia, a utilities developer headquartered in France has revealed plans to widen its investment portfolio in the Middle East.

The company is currently in the process of mobilising about $200mn worth of investments in power and water projects in the region, a senior official at the company told a local newspaper.

It is looking to make an acquisition in Turkey this year while keeping its sight on the renewable energy developments in Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East currently accounts for two per cent of Veolia's annual revenue, according to Xavier Joseph, chief executive Middle East for Veolia, reported The National.

The company hopes to grow this figure significantly via participation in desalination and water projects in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

“We invest through PPPs [pubic private partnerships] and with the help of debt, $200m is the global amount of money we can mobilise through project financing,” Mr Joseph told The National in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

“We have entered Egypt already and we’re submitting an offer for acquisition in Turkey.

The Turkish acquisition, related to waste-to-energy, will "dramatically change" Veolia's footprint in the country, said Joseph, giving no further details.

Veolia's current Turkish operations, which include a waste water treatment plant at Alanya on Turkey's central Mediterranean coast, generates €8-9 million (Dh36-40 million) in annual revenue, according to The National.

In Egypt, the company provides facilities management to Majid Al Futtaim's Mall of Egypt and Mall of Alexandria via Enova, a Veolia-MAF joint venture.

Veolia plans to bid for the world’s largest desalination facility in Abu Dhabi, a 200 million Imperial gallon a day project announced earlier this month by the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea).

The Dh2 billion Taweela project will be developed as two desalination plants of 100 million gallons each and will be constructed at the namesake power station, which is located north of the city of Abu Dhabi.

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