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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Orascom signs $320m deal for wastewater treatment plant in Egypt

The construction firm partners with one of the world’s largest water companies

Orascom Construction third quarter results were dragged down by widening losses in its US operations.  Dana Smillie / The National
Orascom Construction third quarter results were dragged down by widening losses in its US operations. Dana Smillie / The National

Orascom Construction and Spain’s FCC Aqualia will build a US$320 million wastewater treatment plant in Egypt, the construction firm said.

The joint venture will build the Abu Rawash wastewater treatment plant in the North African country, to serve 6 million people.

“This award confirms our ability to continue to secure quality contracts and underscores our strategy to focus on water-related projects, such as our two recently-signed water desalination plants, due to the strategic need of this sector in Egypt,” said Osama Bishai, chief executive of Orascom Construction.

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The facility will have the capacity to turn 1.6 million cubic metres of wastewater per day into potable water, using primary and secondary treatment units. The companies said that the plant will be constructed over phases taking just over three years. The joint venture will also be in charge of operating and maintaining the Abu Rawash plant.

This isn’t the first time the companies have partnered. Orascom Construction and Aqualia New Europe also own and develop the New Cairo wastewater treatment plant. This was Egypt’s first public-private partnership, which treats 250,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day.

Water requirements in the country are rising as a result of population and industrialisation.

The Arab world’s most populated country has limited supplies and wastewater is typically highly contaminated. Treated domestic sewage is reused for irrigation, but the increasing demands for domestic water are placing pressure on the amount of sewage available for reuse. Egypt’s water and irrigation ministry estimates that the total quality of reused treated wastewater was about 0.3 billion cubic metres in 2013.