Utilities Development Company

Sulaibiya WWT&RP Receives High-level Visitors

High-level delegations continue to visit Sulaibiya WWT&RP, a show-case project for Kharafi National. Construction (Oil & Gas) is extremely busy on several major projects. In the UAE, the ADWEA STP BOOT project is nearing its EPC peak, while Instant Access is building its fleet with new product offerings. In Egypt, KN’s Marassi project is meeting the tough deadlines of Emaar’s summer schedule. Back in Kuwait, the 360 Mall has been inaugurated.

The project structure, financing and advanced technology used for Sulaibiya WWT&RP was unique to Kuwait when the plant was first commissioned in March 2005. The success of the plant has generated much interest and it was recently honored with three visits from VIPs.

Sulaibiya Waste-water Treatment and Reclamation Plant (WWT&RP) is one of the biggest sewage treatment plants in the Middle East. Indeed its reverse osmosis element is the largest in the world ever built for wastewater treatment.

HE Fadel Safar, the Kuwait Minister of Public Works, being briefed by Dr. Ibrahim Al-Ghusain (center) and Kharafi Group VP Marzouk Al-Kharafi (right) during a recent tour of the facilities at Sulaibiya WWT&RP

The plant uses the most advanced technologies and is almost wholly automated. Though its output is used only for irrigation, the reclaimed water exceeds WHO (World Health Organization) standards for potable water.

Sulaibiya was the first BOT (build-operatetransfer) project in utilities in Kuwait. It is owned by Utilities Development Company (UDC), under a 30-year concession from Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works. UDC is a partnership between the Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharafi Group of Kuwait and GE (then Ionics Inc) of the USA, which is the global leader in water purification and wastewater treatment that pioneered the reverse osmosis technique . The funding for Sulaibiya WWT&RP was provided by a KD114.25 million non-recourse financing package from a consortium of local banks led by NBK, the largest ever for a project of this type in Kuwait.

Kharafi National was a major member of the joint venture that undertook the EPC works, construction and commissioning of the plant. KN is now operating and maintaining the plant in conjunction with United Utilities of the UK, for the main part of the plant, and with Italba Services Srl for the reverse osmosis section.

Kuwait Minister of Public Works

HE Fadel Safar, the Kuwait Minister of Public Works, visited the Sulaibiya WWT&RP on 13th June 2009. Dr Fadel Safar was accompanied by Engineer Mahmoud Karam, Chief Engineer of the Sanitary Engineering Department, and a retinue of ministry staff. Vice-President of the Kharafi Group Marzouk Nasser Al-Kharafi and General Manager of UDC Ibrahim Al-Ghusain welcomed the delegates and accompanied them on their visit to the site.

The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the plant and its stages of treatment.

During the tour HE the Minister visited the plant laboratory, which was recently accredited to ISO-17025 (Laboratory Management Quality System) standards. The delegation also visited the control room where the SCADA system helps to monitor and control the operations of the Ardiya
pre-treatment plant, the Sulaibiya plant and the 25km pipelines joining them. After that, a field tour took place during which the aeration tanks for tertiary biological treatment and the reverse osmosis system were inspected.

The tour ended in the measurement chamber for reading the daily flows where the quality of the purified water was demonstrated to the delegates.

HE the Minister commended the efforts of the plant staff, his ministry staff and the staff of the investor company, saying that Sulaibiya WWT&RP is a model of how the public and private sectors can cooperate. HE the minister expressed his willingness to work with other governmental regulators to expedite the necessary approvals for the plant’s expansion, currently being sought, which is required to handle the increasing amounts of waste-water being produced in Kuwait.

Kharafi Group VP Marzouk Al-Kharafi stated that the Sulaibiya plant will save the State of Kuwait an amount of US$11 billion over the life of the project, the difference between what it would cost the state to desalinate water and the price at which it buys purified water from Sulaibiya. He also stressed the urgent need for the country to expand the plant to handle the increased flows of wastewater and avoid the release of non-treated water into the marine environment.

Gambian Minister of Works

On the same day, HE Lamin Bojang, the Minister of Works of The Gambia, visited the Sulaibiya plant.

Dr Ibrahim Al-Ghusain accompanied the Minister and Hussein Azmi, the Marketing Manager of MAK, on a tour of the plant, explaining its various facilities and how the plant operates.

HE the Minister expressed his gratitude to the Kharafi Group for his valuable and informative visit.

Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Delegation

On 5th July 2009, a high level delegation from the Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) paid a visit to the plant. The visitors were ADSSC Deputy Managing Director Mubarak Obaid Al Dhaheri, Asset Management Division Manager Omar Husain Al Hashimi, and Operations & Maintenance Division Manager Mohamed Ahmed Al Mansoori.

The delegates were met by Dr Ibrahim Al- Ghusain who gave them a complete tour of the plant. The delegates were impressed with the facilities at Sulaibiya WWT&RP and said it could only be compared with other plants in the US, Australia and Singapore.

Recent visitors to Sulaibiya WWT&RP from Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company included Deputy Managing Director Mubarak Obaid Al Dhaheri, Asset Management Division Manager Omar Husain Al Hashimi, and Operations & Maintenance Division Manager Mohamed Ahmed Al Mansoori