Dallas, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/14/2013 -- Oman is likely to emerge as one of the Middle East’s most active water markets in 2013, with project opportunities emerging in the water desalination sector – as a result of the Sultanate’s independent water (IWP) programme, and an expanded wastewater investment plan. Haya Water, the main company involved in sewage services servicing the capital, announced plans in Q412 to spend a further OMR1bn on new water projects through to 2018. This amounts to a doubling in its current spending ambitions. The award of the Ghubrah IWP contract to a Japanese-led consortium is another welcoming sign of progress for Oman’s water sector. BMI is confident that the announced measures will enable Muscat to meet its long-term water challenges, backed up by a private-sector friendly investment regime.
The key trends and developments in Oman’s water sector are:
The authorities’ renewed focus on standalone independent water projects (IWPs) will offer a healthy line of contract awards through 2013, and with demand spiralling ever upwards – prompting the Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW) to request that OPWP procure an additional 89mn gallons per day (g/d) for the Interconnected Zone by 2018 – privately-operated desalination projects such as the Ghubrah IWP, a 42mn g/d project awarded in November 2012 to Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, along with partners Malakoff and Cadagua, will figure prominently.
Independent water and power projects (IWPPs) and standalone IWPs – the latter a clear focus for the authorities – will dominate project activity in the sultanate. The procurement process for future IWP/IWPPs will speed up in 2013 given the rising demand scenario in Oman. State utility OPWP is planning four new private IWPPs, which would add a minimum of 40mn g/d of new water capacity to Oman’s existing infrastructure.
Hay Water is planning to spend another OMR1bn on new wastewater projects in the period up to 2018.
Wastewater treatment plants will be built as buil, own and operate (BOO) projects, with typical five-year terms. The sewage collection network is being expanded, with the addition of a secondary network to distribute treated sewage effluence around Muscat. The aim is to improve the existing wastewater re-use rate of 60%. About 60-70% of Haya Water’s treated sewage effluence is currently reused. The Sultanate is facing an increase of up to 6% in annual water demand in the period up to 2018, forcing OPWP and its international partners to ramp up production. With the authorities embarking on a clear-eyed programme of expansion in desalination capacity, we believe that the country will keep pace with the robust consumption pattern. Water production, in BMI’s view, will exceed 49,000 g/d by 2016. In terms of geographic distribution, Muscat – the capital and centre of economic activity – will dominate in the number of connected households, with 228,000 connections anticipated by 2016, out of an overall 341,000. Dhofar by contrast will lag behind with only 46,000 connected households by that date.
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