MIDDLE EAST WATER NEWS IN BRIEF
- From: Vol 11, Issue 3 (March 2010)
- Category: Brief
- Region: Middle East
- Country: Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
- Related Companies: Delek Group, Granite Hacarmel Investments, IDE Technologies, Israel Chemicals, Joca, National Petroleum Co. (NPC), Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, Tecton Engineering, Veolia Water, Via Maris and WTD
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* IDE Technologies has revived plans for a partial stock exchange flotation, after a previous attempt at an IPO failed in 2007.
Joint owners Delek Group and Israel Chemicals are understood to be looking to sell 25% of the company at a price which values the business at between $800 million and $1 billion.
* Two bidders are rumoured to have been shortlisted by ADSSC for a new 27,276m3/d RO plant to polish treated sewage effluent to potable standards at the royal Al Wathba Palace in Abu Dhabi. Veolia Water and Tecton Engineering are understood to be best placed for the EPC and 5-year O&M contract. The polished effluent will be used for landscape and agricultural irrigation.
* Granite Hacarmel has increased its stake in the 82,191m3/d Palmachim desalination plant in Israel, acquiring Middle East Tubes’ 22.1% stake for $16 million. In December, the company acquired a similarly sized stake from Ocif Investments, bringing its total interest in the Via Maris consortium to 72.1%. The remaining stake is owned by Tahal Group.
* While Abu Dhabi continues to suffer at the hands of the credit rating agencies, Oman and Saudi Arabia are climbing the ladder in terms of creditworthiness. Moody’s upgraded Oman Power & Water Procurement Company to A1 from A2 on 18 February on the back of a sovereign upgrade, just days after it raised Saudi Arabia’s sovereign rating to Aa3 from A1.
* Israel has decided to cancel its drought tax at least until next year, after relatively plentiful rainfall which has so far been 20% higher than last year and 30% above 2008 levels. The tax – part of an effort to reduce consumption – was introduced in July 2009 and had been scheduled to be reinstated on 15 April 2010.
* The push by Spanish companies to increase equipment exports to Iran has yielded an EPC contract for Spanish contractor Joca for a new 40,000m3/d SWRO plant in Assalouyeh, which will employ spiral-wound membranes and isobaric energy recovery devices. The client is a subsidiary of National Petroleum Co. (NPC). A separate MOU signed in 2008 between NPC and WTD to develop a 120,000m3/d SWRO plant in Assalouyeh did not progress beyond the paper stage.