Veolia Water Wins Contract To Build, Finance and Operate a Reverse Osmosis Seawater Desalination Plant in Oman

Following an international call for tenders, Veolia Water, with the support of its Omani partner Suhail Bahwan Group, has won a BOO (Build, Own, Operate) contract for a major reverse osmosis desalination plant near Sur. The new contract strengthens Veolia Water’s presence in Oman.

The 22-year operating contract, awarded by the Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of National Economy, should represent an estimated global consolidated revenue of €434 million for Veolia Water, including the construction of the new plant.

The plant will have a capacity of 80,200 cubic meters/day and will supply drinking water to the 350,000 people resident in the Sharqiyah region. It will be built by Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies (VWS), in a consortium with Bahwan Engineering Company, for a total of €111 million, of which 52% for VWS. VWS is in charge of process design and equipment purchasing, with Bahwan Engineering Company responsible for construction and equipment installation.

Most of the seawater will be drawn from some 20 wells sunk along the coast, with additional water taken directly from the sea. This complementary supply method will offer greater flexibility in terms of the flow of water produced and will increase plant safety, especially in summer when algae proliferate.

In the new plant, seawater will be subjected to very sophisticated pretreatment by air flotation and pressure filtration to remove algae and residue, irrespective of the water quality. It will then be desalinated by forcing it under very high pressure through two stages of reverse osmosis (eight reverse osmosis trains in the first stage and four in the second). The water will then be remineralized in a post-treatment phase. To optimize the plant’s energy and environmental performance, energy recovery has been designed into the project. This will provide a significant proportion of the energy required to operate the plant.

Veolia Water, in association with a Suhail Bahwan subsidiary, will initially operate the existing plant (12,000 cubic meters/day), before moving to the new plant when it comes on line at the beginning of 2009 following completion of the work.

“This significant contract for a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant contract, which comes just a few months after contracts won in the Emirate of Ajman, and Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, strengthens our position in the Middle East. It also confirms our role as a major player in the design and construction of seawater desalination plants using reverse osmosis or thermal processes, with currently about 12% of the world’s installed capacity”, said Antoine Frérot, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Water.

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