Abu Dhabi eyes long-term water supply plan
Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital and largest sheikdom, aims to develop a plan to secure long-term water supply, the head of the government-run renewable energy company said. The emirate is pursuing several programs to study water conservation and cut domestic use, which may lead to a “comprehensive and holistic approach” to water security in the next year or two, Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Masdar, as the renewable energy company is known, said today. Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the UAE’s oil reserves, is largely desert. The emirate has already developed a food storage site in a neighboring emirate to guard against shortages. Al Jaber was speaking at the annual World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi where he announced the formation of a new water summit to start next year. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan mandated the water initiative at a press conference in the capital on Wednesday.
Bahrain firm inks Indonesia water contract
PT Moya Indonesia, a subsidiary of Bahrain holding company Moya, has signed a 25-year build, operate and transfer (BOT) contract with the Indonesian Municipal Authority for the country's biggest fresh water treatment complex. Moya, co-founded by Gulf One Investment Bank and Bushnak Group led by Dr. Adil Bushnak, is a GCC-based joint stock company focusing on providing water supply and related infrastructure in the GCC and Southeast Asia regions. Its other major shareholders include Energy and Environmental Solutions Company, Tamimi Company and Hoshanco from Saudi Arabia. Moya said the contract with the Indonesian municipal authority PDAM Tangerang includes design, build, upgrade, uprate, operate and transfer of a fresh water treatment complex and associated network development, thus providing clean water supply for Tangerang City, Indonesia. The Tangerang project will be divided into three zones, each with a concessionary tenure of 25 years and is estimated to be built at a cost of $110 to $120 million. When fully completed, the total production capacity will be 168,480 m3/day, it added. Dr. Nahed Taher, co-founder and CEO of Gulf One and Moya chairperson said the project was a great milestone for Moya as the contract will be the largest BOT project that the company has signed to date. 'It is also a strategic achievement for Gulf One Bank’s vision in creating wealth in one of the most important infrastructure sectors in the future of world economy, water, also referred to as 'Blue Gold',' he stated. Since inception, Moya has proven to be a prosperous and successful investment for shareholders, said Taher. 'The management with proper direction from the board has progressively built an organization that has the capacity to deliver long-term sustainable growth,' he added. Commenting on the project, Simon A. Melhem, CEO of Moya Asia Limited said, “This is our most significant BOT project to date. We anticipate that this project will contribute a substantial, stable revenue stream for Moya and its other shareholders in years to come.” Gulf One co-founder and CIO Ziyad F Omar said, 'We see Indonesia as a promising economy and are proud to have PTMI as one of our indirect investments there. Foreign investors are rightfully looking at Indonesia carefully, eager to capitalize on the strong growth in the country.' According to Global Water Intelligence, while local government-owned water utilities companies (PDAM) still dominate the clean water supply market in most parts of Indonesia, an emerging trend of privatization has resulted in beneficial returns for private BOT companies who are still small in numbers. PDAMs serve only about 30 per cent of the Indonesian population while only 23 per cent of the Indonesian populations have access to piped water supply, said Omar, citing the global reports. Gulf One, he said, has through its subsidiaries participated in this growth and continues to increase its presence in Indonesia’s surging economy. 'Through this investment, Gulf One has developed its relationship with stakeholders in Indonesia and intends to further strengthen these relations with future projects,' Omar added.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Abu Dhabi unveils new utility bill
Abu Dhabi will unveil a new utility bill for its customers starting from next month that will provide more information, mainly on managing their water and power consumption across the emirate. All the water and electricity customers will receive separate utility bills showing the government subsidy, said a statement from Abu Dhabi Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB). In addition residential customers will have two consumption bands indicating an “ideal-average” and above “ideal-average” range of consumption, it stated. Commenting on the RSB move, director general Nicholas Carter said, 'With an upward trend in population and economic growth the Abu Dhabi government is aware of the pressure this puts on the country’s resources. Steps taken now will help ensure the continuous and secure supply of water and electricity into the future. As the tariff stays the same, the new bill is one way to address consumption and influence long-term behavioral change,' he noted. To ensure customers are not taken by surprise an information campaign will introduce the new bill before the March ‘go-live’ date which highlights the key changes and addresses concerns and questions that many customers may wish to ask. Based on an energy consumption theme, the campaign introduces two ‘consumption’ symbols as tools for behavior change. The consumption bands give residential customers an average range to benchmark their water and electricity use, essentially a tool to manage consumption, depending on whether they live in an apartment or villa (all other premises). The green “tick” symbol shows the ideal-average and the red “exclamation” symbol indicates the above ideal-average. Whether they are in the “green” or in the “red”, customers can adjust their electricity and water use to keep within the ideal range for their type of property. The consumption bands are based on annual averages for each property type and are as follows: While nationals continue to receive free water for nominal prices, the new bill will be sent to them as an information tool to help build awareness around consumption. “Peak summer demand drives a core part of the sector’s costs and it is consumer behavior at this time of year that we need to influence,” said Mohammed Bin Jarsh, deputy managing director of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company. “Based on current use, we know that most of our customers will be ‘in the red’ for the summer months. By encouraging customers to use efficient appliances and adjust their air conditioning, we can reduce our electricity use significantly,” he added. Over the past week Abu Dhabi residents have been exposed to the start of an advertising campaign (are you in the green or in the red) that forms part of this information program, said Bin Jarsh. Various campaign information themes will be rolled out for the next two months to help customers understand their new bills. The Government subsidy represents a large part of the actual cost of producing and delivering water and electricity to the customer, for which they do not pay. “By showing the actual cost of the utility, customers will realize the Government’s contribution to the sector',” said Carter. 'This will increase awareness amongst the consumers in relation to their consumption of water and electricity,' he added. The new bill will be rolled out in phases during March and April starting with residential and business customers, although as bills are mailed throughout a month’s cycle not all customers will see the new bill immediately.
Source: TradeArabia News Service