Dammam West Independent Sewage Treatment Plant: Another Step to Realising Ambitious Infrastructural Projects in the KSA

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture is embracing a new approach to strategic projects, contracting the country’s first independent sewage treatment plant project to the consortium led by the Metito Group and comprising of the companies; Metito, Mowah, and Orascom Construction.

Dammam Metito

The Dammam West independent sewage treatment plant (ISTP) — the first ISTP project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — has been awarded to a consortium led by the Metito Group on a Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) basis.

This is in-line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and the wider initiatives approved by the Cabinet of Ministers to encourage private-sector participation in economic development initiatives.

His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Fadley is Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and chairman of the Water And Electricity Company. He is also the chairman of the supervisory committee for privatisation in the environment, water and agriculture sectors. Al Fadley awarded the sewage treatment agreement (STA) for the plant serving the western region of Dammam, with a designed capacity of 350,000 cubic meters per day, and an initial capacity of 200,000 cubic meters per day.

“We are confident that it will serve as a model for other similar projects in the Kingdom and further afield.”

Signing the agreement was an integral part of the plan set by the ministry to tender similar projects to investors in various KSA regions. The project aims to upgrade services, make them more sustainable and increase capital spending efficiency by making the best use of the private sector experience in the environment, water and agricultural sectors.

The National Centre for Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships, led by CEO His Excellency Turki Abdulaziz Al Hokail, supports and enables the privatisation programme in the kingdom to develop and efficiently operate public-private partnerships (PPP) projects. This initiative is the second privatisation initiative in the water sector, signed in less than a month. The centre is working closely with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture to complete similar projects.

Khaled bin Zwaid AlQureshi, CEO of the Water and Electricity Company, said that the project is expected to begin operating early in 2022. Deciding to develop the project under an STA aimed to secure more benefits, making the project more sustainable and eco-friendly through the use of technological solutions to reduce odours and noise, and cut energy consumption.

Dammam Metito

Metito Group chairman and CEO Mutaz Ghandour said major infrastructure developments were taking place in the kingdom. “The Dammam ISTP is a true landmark,” he said, “being the first of its kind to be developed. We are very proud that the consortium led by Metito has been awarded a project of this size and importance in one of the most dynamic markets in the World.

“We are confident that it will serve as a model for other similar projects in the Kingdom and further afield.”

Sami Alrayes, Mowah chairman and CEO, said: “We are proud that the Metito / Mowah / Orascom Consortium has been awarded this contract.

“The objective of the privatisation projects is to achieve 2030 Vision targets by boosting service levels, improving capital and spending efficiency, and to benefit from private sector experience and participation in finance and investment.”

Osama Bishai, CEO of Orascom Construction, said the initiative was a continuation of efforts to build a solid portfolio of water-related construction projects.

Contributing to a greener footprint, the project is being developed on the smallest area of land required for a plant of this capacity. It uses the most advanced technologies in the treatment process, reducing power consumption.

The quality of the treated effluent is one of the highest in the KSA, and the sludge quality is an EPA Class A, which can be used for landscaping and irrigation. This is truly turning waste into wealth, and the plant is equipped with a biological scrubber odour-control system to keep the surrounding area unaffected.

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