Muscat, Feb 24 – Majis Industrial Services (MIS), a wholly Omani government-owned water services utility, yesterday signed a facility agreement with Ahlibank Oman covering a RO 45 million term loan to finance the purchase of a minority stake in leading UAE-based utility Utico, as well to drive its growth ambitions. The agreement was inked at a ceremony held at Hormuz Grand Muscat Hotel yesterday. The parties were represented by Eng Ahmed Saif al Mazruai, CEO — Majis Industrial Services, and Saif Abdullah al Hatmi, CEO — Ahlibank. Also present at the signing were high level officials representing Utico and Oman Investment Fund (a sovereign wealth fund of the Sultanate of Oman that owns Majis Industrial Services).
The deal comes just over a month after Majis inked a landmark pact to acquire a roughly 20 per cent equity stake in Utico, the largest private utility provider in the UAE with interests spanning power and water production, wastewater treatment, solar energy solutions, and other investments. In remarks to the Observer, Al Mazruai said Majis’ investment in Utico has a two-fold objective: Firstly, it will ensure returns for Majis that will then be reinvested in driving the growth of the utility’s business in the Sultanate; Secondly, the revenue will enable the company to “accommodate new investments to make the price right for our customers,” he explained.
A leader in industrial water services, Majis has invested sizable amounts in the development of a full-fledged and well-diversified water services infrastructure that is indispensable to the successful operation of industries and factories located within the Sohar Industrial Port Area (SIPA) and the adjoining Sohar Freezone. The utility currently provides five types of water services to customers in the industrial port area: potable drinking water, process water, effluent management, irrigation water, and industrial cooling water. Knowledge-sharing is another key objective underpinning the Majis-Utico partnership, said Al Mazruai. “We want to share expertise and technologies for our mutual benefit, as well as for the benefit of the Omani market specifically. By leveraging this capability, we aim to expand within the GCC and eventually go global as well.”
Within Oman, the Majis-Utico partnership has its sights on opportunities for providing utility services to the network of industrial cities administered by the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn), as well as Khazaen Economic City, among other existing and upcoming industrial clusters. “There are various opportunities in Oman, which we have discussed with Utico, and we look to taking them forward,” the CEO said.
Majis also plans to utilise its partnership with Utico to support the export of Omani labour into the GCC markets, thereby driving the creation of new job opportunities for nationals in the Sultanate, he added.