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UTICO

OMAN - Green Economy

Hussain Al Lawati

Group CEO, Utico

Bio

Hussian Al Lawati brings a wealth of expertise in private equity, venture capital, banking industry, and corporate advisory across multiple sectors and asset classes. For the past 20 years, he has worked in the finance and investment sector. Before assuming the role of Group CEO of Utico FZC, Al Lawati served as MENA CEO and head of global investments for Utico FZC. For about 10 years, Al Lawati worked for private equity at Oman Investment Fund. He also held advisory and auditing positions with various financial firms such Bank Muscat, Shell Oman Marketing, and KPMG. Al Lawati holds bachelor’s of commerce in accountancy with the highest honors GPA from Carleton University, Canada. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a graduate of National CEO Program –IMD (Executive Leadership Program).

"Utico is largest private utility provider in the UAE and is part of UAE-based RMB Group, with the conglomerate’s turnover exceeding AED2 billion."
Having established itself successfully as the largest private utility firm in the UAE, Utico is bringing its expertise to Oman to help with water and power projects.
Could you provide an overview of the company and some of the major highlights in the past year?

Utico is largest private utility provider in the UAE and is part of UAE-based RMB Group, with the conglomerate’s turnover exceeding AED2 billion. Utico develops, invests, constructs, owns, operates, and maintains water desalination and power plants and transmission and distribution networks. Utico owns and operate five RO-based water desalination plants in the UAE with a total capacity of around 100MIGD and owns and operates power plants with total capacity of 106MW. In addition, Utico also owns and operates water and power transmission system supplying desalinated water and electricity to its consumers under WPA and PPA. Utico was involved in these projects as EPC contractor as well, and we continue to move in this direction. After successfully establishing ourselves as the largest private utility in the UAE, we are re-defining Utico’s vision to expand into other countries in the Middle East as well other parts of the world. Over the last year, we have embarked on redefining our strategy and reorganizing ourselves in support of achieving the ambitious regional outreach. We have seen success in this initiative, which is demonstrated through award of Gubrah IWP in Oman on BOOT basis and being shortlisted by Saudi Arabia for various water desalination generation and transmission projects and sewage plants under private investment.

What competitive advantages and strengths does Utico bring into the market that others competitors do not?

Utico’s business operations encompassing project development, investment, EPC, and operation and maintenance of water and power assets perfectly position Utico in delivering quality water and power assets in time, at the lowest possible cost, and in reliable manner. Involvement in all aspects of the project provides Utico with a seamless approach, cutting across various roles, in addressing project risks in a manner that benefits consumers, with quality, timely, and cost-effective utility services while increasing value for shareholders.

Are there any other expansion plans on the pipeline, and in what countries is the company seeing most growth and potential?

Having established itself successfully as largest private utility in UAE, we are now focusing on expanding and being a part of the regional growth plans in the water sector, as well exploring other regions like North Africa. We expect to expand our footprint within the UAE with a focus on the rapidly evolving water market in Saudi Arab.

What steps is the company taking to integrate environmental excellence into its business strategy?

Utico has evolved itself as a responsible utilities provider focused on providing utility services in a sustainable, environment friendly, and cost-effective manner. In its project delivery model, it has embraced practices and technologies in support of overall sustainability including reduction of carbon footprints. To ensure that projects are environment sustainable with reduced carbon footprints, Utico’s project team features many sustainable and green specialists. This approach is adopted from the concept stage, through execution and continues into O&M stage. Our efforts are to reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy even during construction stage, and we always have a delivery model based on renewable energy.

What opportunities are there for renewable power generation and water production in the Sultanate?

The renewable sector is promising in Oman. In addition to its geographical features, Oman possesses an enriching atmosphere that it attracts wide variety of renewable projects. One of which is renewable resources primarily wind and solar. With Utico now entering the market in Oman, we are in the process of expanding in contracting with pioneer authorities such a Oman Water & Wastewater Services Company. Knowing that the Utico FZC currently provides uninterrupted power supply of 50MW solar hybrid in the UAE, Utico prioritizes renewables considering its long-term eco-impact and its lower cost in comparison to the traditional power generation resources. Utico promotes sustainability as one of its core values.

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