Bluewater Bio to Roll Out Technology in Saudi Arabia
Bluewater Bio International, the provider of a proprietary wastewater treatment process called HYBACS, has entered into an agreement with Nesma & Partners, a general contractor in Saudi Arabia and the engineering and construction division of Nesma Holding, a large diversified group in the kingdom.
Bluewater Bio, in collaboration with its partner Zero Waste Technology WLL of Bahrain, plans to roll out its wastewater treatment technology across Saudi Arabia with Nesma, which specializes in the oil and gas, petrochemical, power, water, and commercial construction sectors. According to a March 26 press release, Nesma believes that Bluewater Bio’s HYBACS technology will be attractive to its clients.
Under the agreement, Nesma will initially be the exclusive selling agent for HYBACS in the territory, with the companies intending to establish a joint venture company subsequently. Through this joint venture, for which heads of terms have been agreed, Bluewater Bio and Nesma will also pursue privatization projects in the country as sponsors of consortia to provide project finance through long-term build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects, and Imad S. Gholmieh, the chief executive officer of Nesma, will head the joint venture’s management committee.
Bluewater Bio, Zero Waste, and Nesma, together with Spain’s Aqualia Gestión, a subsidiary of the Spain-quoted FCC Group, and the UK-quoted Aqua Resources Fund, a water-dedicated investment fund managed by FourWinds Capital Management, have previously collaborated to successfully prequalify as a consortium bidder for the upcoming Muharraq sewage treatment plant tender in Bahrain, which as the first private-sector wastewater treatment tender in the country has attracted global industry leaders, such as Veolia Water and Suez Environment. The tender will be for a 27-year sewage treatment agreement for which the upfront capital costs are expected to be in excess of $100 million.
Nesma and Bluewater Bio intend to establish a full-scale reference HYBACS plant in Saudi Arabia within six months, and Nesma has already identified a site. Currently Bluewater Bio has commissioned a pilot-scale reference plant in collaboration with Severn Trent Water in the United Kingdom and will begin commissioning a second European pilot-scale reference plant with Aqualia next month at the municipality of Ávila, approximately 100 kilometres north west of Madrid.
Bluewater Bio recently announced details of an investment of approximately £2.3 million by Aqua Resources Fund, which included provisions for Aqua Resources Fund to have the facility to co-invest and raise debt funding in precisely the type of private sector BOT projects that Bluewater Bio and Nesma are now planning to engage in together in Saudi Arabia. Many such projects will focus on the reuse of treated wastewater in a part of the world where water’s value as a life-critical scarce resource has long been widely recognized and accorded a priority.
Gholmieh commented: “We are excited to be further expanding our activities in the wastewater sector with Bluewater Bio following our successful collaboration on the Muharraq prequalification. We believe Bluewater's groundbreaking HYBACS wastewater treatment technology has a wide application in our market, and we anticipate that it will be a strong competitor in applicable projects.”
Daniel Ishag, chief executive officer of Bluewater Bio, said: “We are honored to conclude this agreement with a group of Nesma’s stature. As one of the largest and strongest general contractors in Saudi Arabia, Nesma is a perfect partner for us.”