Waste Water Concession

Infrastructure Middle East-WhiteBackground

Staff Reporter / November 2015


Press Clipping - Infrastructure Middle East November 2015

The Middle East’s first wastewater concession, no surprises here, was implemented in the UAE, or more specifically in Ajman.

In December 2001, The Public Private Partnership (PPP) model took a significant step forward in the region, when the Ajman government signed a concession agreement with US-based Black & Veatch International and the UK’s Thames Water for the region’s first integrated wastewater project, backed by private capital.

Prior to that, Ajman relied on septic tanks, soakaways and tankers to dispose of the its wastewater. After a few hiccups along the way, the project came online in 2009. Currently, the 27-year concession is operated by Ajman Sewerage Private Company Ltd (ASPCL), a partnership between the government of Ajman, BESIX and Veolia, two leading international water treatment experts from the private sector. ASPCL collects wastewater, treats it and delivers treated water to the city of Ajman. The sewerage system has about 300 km of sewer lines, 22 pumping stations and a wastewater treatment facility that currently handles 80,000 m3/day. On a daily basis, more than 300,00 people living and working in Ajman benefit from the sewerage system. The entire infrastructure is operated and maintained by Moalajah, owned one-third by BESIX and two-third by Veolia Water.

The concession contract not only covered construction of the treatment plant and collection system of the service lines to homes but also billing. In fact, in Ajman’s case, the waste water collection and treatment services were the first in the region to be billed directly to customers.

In May 2015, ASPCL signed a deal aimed at expanding the treatment plant capacity by 50%. The construction contract has been awarded to Six Construct and the upgrade works are expected to be completed before the end of 2016. Speaking during the signing ceremony, ASPCL General Manager, Christophe Ledur said that the pant upgrade would allow treating an additional 40,000 m3/day of wastewater.

ASPCL will also increase the production of treated water for usage in domestic and industrial applications such as greenery, irrigation, landscaping, construction works, cleaning and district cooling.

Interestingly, the government of Ajman has set up another PPP with Besix called “Safi” to commercialize the treated effluent produced by ASPCL, marking another first in the region.

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