Bank Muscat signs pact with BAUER Nimr for water treatment plant expansion

MUSCAT:  Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate signed a finance agreement with BAUER Nimr LLC (BNO) to expand the capacity of its produced water treatment plant by 60,000 m3/day under a long-term offtake contract with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). BAUER Nimr is widely known for its water treatment concept using constructed wetlands, operating the world’s largest commercial reed bed project with PDO.

The finance agreement was signed between BAUER Nimr, DEG (the German Governmental Development Bank) and Bank Muscat under the patronage of H.E. Salim Al Aufi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas. The ceremony was held at Kempinski Hotel Muscat, attended by Waleed Al Hashar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Bank Muscat, and top officials of PDO, BAUER Nimr and DEG. Bank Muscat is the local financing partner for the project.

The signatories to the agreement included Abdullah Al Hinai, General Manager – Wholesale Banking on behalf of Bank Muscat, Peter Hingott, BAUER Nimr Board Chairman, and Turan Caglayan, Head of DEG’s Corporates/Project Finance/Funds Europe/Asia division.

Abdullah Al Hinai said: “Bank Muscat is proud to successfully close the financing facility for BAUER Nimr, marking a unique collaboration aimed at enhancing In-Country Value (ICV) and sustainable development. Bank Muscat recognises the immense investment prospects and potential that Oman offers and is committed to supporting strategic initiatives aimed at contributing to sustainable economic development in Oman. The financing agreement comes within the scope of joining hands with partners to achieve the highest value for the national economy. The agreement is a clear indication of the availability of viable financing facilities in Oman.”

Al Hinai added: “In the project financing sector, Bank Muscat maintains leadership position, enabled by its deep expertise, innovative structuring capabilities and sound due diligence techniques, thus catering to long-term financing requirements of major projects in the Sultanate.”

Peter Hingott said: “The Nimr water treatment plant project is the most innovative and significant project in our company’s history as a whole and the outstanding partnership with PDO, DEG and Bank Muscat will enable us to continue on this path of joint success and build on it to the benefit of Oman and BAUER and its partners.”

DEG is a financier for the Nimr Project since its inception. Turan Caglayan commented: “The BAUER Group is a long-standing partner of DEG. It is a great pleasure for us to further deepen our cooperation with BAUER and its Omani partners on the Nimr Project, which we started almost 10 years ago. DEG now arranged the financing for expansion of the plant working closely together with the Omani financing partner Bank Muscat.”

BAUER Nimr LLC (BNO) was established with the objective to develop and construct a wetland and operate a water treatment plant for treatment of residual waters produced by PDO oil wells in the Nimr oil fields.

BNO owns and operates the Nimr Water Treatment Project (NWTP). NWTP is a biological treatment facility on the basis of large-scale reed beds for treatment of produced water from the Nimr oil fields in the southern Oman desert. NWTP is considered to be the largest industrial constructed wetland system in the world, consisting of a series of sloping reed fields and evaporation ponds. This treatment process results in higher oil recovery and lower energy consumption compared to traditional disposal mechanism.

PDO entered into produced water treatment contract with BNO in 2009 and has progressively increased the contracted volume thereafter.