By Conrad Prabhu — MUSCAT: Dec 3: Making further headway in its efforts to outsource waste collection services to private players, Oman Environmental Services Holding Company SAOC (Be’ah) has selected the well-known environmental solutions provider, Averda, to undertake waste collection and landfilling services in the governorates of Al Dakhiliyah and Dhofar.
The contract awards are in line with the state-owned national solid waste utility’s strategy to shut down all of Oman’s environmentally unsafe dumpsites and replace them with modern, engineered landfills. This strategy, combined with its efforts to tap private expertise and resources in municipal waste collection services, is a key Be’ah-driven objective to restructure and eventually privatise the solid waste sector in the Sultanate.
With the award of contracts covering the Al Dakhiliyah and Dhofar governorates, Dubai-headquartered Averda sees its footprint being ramped up in Oman’s solid waste services sector. The company currently operates medical waste treatment facilities at Al Multaqa in Muscat Governorate, and Liwa in Batinah North Governorate.
Municipal waste volumes generated in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate average around 400 tonnes daily, according to Averda. Company-operated refuse trucks are now making the rounds of Bidbid, Samayil, Nizwa, Bahla, Izki, Al Hamra and Adam, collecting waste for disposal at the region’s main landfill in Izz.
With the inclusion of Dhofar Governorate in its waste management portfolio, Averda will be providing municipal waste collection services to an estimated 650,000 people in 1,655 towns and villages in the two governorates.
Earlier this year, Averda launched its second medical waste treatment plant at Liwa, a facility that covers the waste treatment needs of health units across the governorates of North and South Al Batinah, Al Dhahirah, and Al Buraimi. Two autoclave lines at the Liwa plant offer a combined treatment capacity of around 350 kg/hour. The incinerated and completely sterile waste ash is then safely disposed of in secure municipal landfills.
Together with its existing facility in Al Multaqa, Averda’s twin plants have the capacity to meet all of Oman’s medical waste treatment needs, with the exception of Dhofar Governorate, which has its own facility.
All 317 dumpsites located around the country are being progressively phased out under a multi-year programme being pursued by Be’ah. These landfills, which currently receive the estimated 1.7 million tonnes of municipal waste generated annually, are deemed as unsuitable from the environmental and hygiene standpoints, and will be remediated and permanently shut. They will be replaced by 13 engineered landfills — roughly one for each governorate — and supported by 36 transfer stations.