OIA-backed Utico wins largest Dubai plant

New inroads: Leading private utility looks at sustainable investments in Oman water sector by offering lowest tariffs

BUSINESS REPORTER –
MUSCAT, APRIL 6 –
Leading private utility Utico, which recently won the largest Independent Water Project (IWP) in Dubai and signed water purchase and shareholder agreements with the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), says it is looking at sustainable investments in Oman offering consumers the world’s lowest tariffs.
The Oman Investment Authority (OIA)-backed company through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Majis Industrial Services, said in a statement that it is positioning itself to bring value to Oman’s water sector in a sustainable manner and hopes to invest this year, leading to channelling capital and know-how back to the country, as well as contributing to socio-economic progress.
Utico said it scored a major milestone by winning the Dubai IWP contract with the world’s lowest water tariff in a tough and challenging procurement model of DEWA, demonstrating its capacity and quality to negotiate at an arm’s length basis to deliver sustainable development. The project capacity is 120 million gallons per day with facilities to expand to 240 migd (million imperial gallons per day) production per day, which would make it the largest desalination plant in the world.
Hussain al Lawati, CEO of the MENA region and Head of Global Investments, said: “The Dubai win shows the company’s ability to deliver sustainable returns to its shareholders in addition to bringing in efficiencies to government long term concessions. This has been made possible with Utico’s innovative approach and the vertically integrated model encapsulating all elements of the value chain.”
Governments in the region are continuing to expand the desalination capacity and they are looking to enhance the contribution of key sectors such as agriculture for which efficient and cost-effective supply of water is a key enabler, he said.
“We are well-positioned to capture the opportunities in the sector and is currently evaluating public markets for both debt and equity to expand our capital base. Our competitive position in a growing sector will deliver superior risk-adjusted returns to our investors and capital providers,” Al Lawati said.
Adapting the same successful model, Utico is keen to bring benefit to the Omani water sector by providing the most efficient technology with affordable economical scale. One of these achievements so far is Utico being selected as a winning bidder to supply Diam with desalinated potable water of 20,000 m3/d capacity. The water tariff of the project is the lowest in Oman.
It is key to also bring down the water tariff in the commercial space, which will position Oman competitively with respect to other industrial areas to attract FDI.
“In line with the government’s 2040 vision, we will invest into sustainable projects in Oman; Oman will be in the top three countries in terms of our investment target in the next five years. This will also bring the subsidies lower and protect consumer tariffs from the increase,” Al Lawati said.
Utico said it has continuously demonstrated its ability to innovate and sustain its unique business model, which despite the Covid-19 pandemic has supported and enabled all its customers and consumers to adapt and adopt sustainability as well.
Utico is the largest full-service private utility company in UAE. It is a major utility infrastructure developer with its strength in offering full serviced solutions from concept to operation and maintenance. Utico also has full-spectrum engineering capabilities to associate with turnkey projects with strong customer satisfaction. The company is specialised in providing a range of utility services including water production, power production & transmission, turnkey EPC projects, district cooling, wastewater treatment and utility investment.