x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Dubai and German firms create water giant

The Metito-Berllinwasser partnership will create a Dh3.67bn heavyweight to bid for regional water projects.

Metito, a Dubai-based water company, announced today it would partner with a major German firm to create a US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) regional heavyweight to bid for water projects in the GCC and North Africa. The new company, to be called Metito Berllinwasser, will compete with several well-established multinationals to satisfy growing demand for desalinated water and wastewater treatment services in the region.

Initially the company will bid to provide water services to major developers in Dubai, including Nakheel Properties. It has also set its sights on a project outside the Egyptian capital Cairo and is examining opportunities in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, said Rami Ghandour, the executive director of Metito Utilities. Water markets in the region have steadily opened up to private participation in the sector, Mr Ghandour said, increasing their appeal to multinational firms.

"Until now the water sector has been highly regulated," Mr Ghandour said. "The thought is, OK, you've designed it, you've built it, you've operated it. Now how can you go further down that value chain?" Until now Metito has mostly limited itself to small-and medium-size projects. Berlinwasser is one of the world's largest water companies that has branched out from its core business of water services in Berlin to make investments in China and Hungary.