The Business Year

Utility, desalination, and wastewater processing companies are progressively turning to innovations and more sustainable options to improve their operations, with water becoming an increasingly precious commodity around the world.

Faisal Aldawish

CEO, Veolia Arabia

Following the implementation of exceptional measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, Veolia is organizing itself to ensure its mission of providing essential services, while guaranteeing the safety of its employees. In order to maintain the quality and availability of its services, Veolia Saudi Arabia activated a business continuity plan to protect its operations of industrial wastewater treatment in Jubail. Teams continue to guarantee the performance and compliance of wastewater treatment, in all circumstances. To make this possible, Veolia organized its operational and support services to continuously maintain the level of staffing required to keep its activity ticking over. Its team is committed to provide 24/7 of central services to the community and make it a priority. During this crisis, Veolia hired two staff to support and ensure that the operations continued. For example, for our Jubail’s operations, we took rapid action and gave our employees there a special housing allowance for four months so that they did not have to travel to other cities. They were able to rent furnished apartments in Jubail even before the lockdown. Thanks to our long-term effort to foster employment of Saudi nationals, we were able to have all our personnel on site. One of our operations in Jubail is 100% run by Saudi technicians and engineers.

Awaadh Al-Otaibi

CEO, Miahona

Being a Saudi contractor in the distribution sector, the management contract that we won for the North West cluster was one of the key targets from the beginning. We had participated in NWC’s previous management contract batches. Miahona took this new management contract with great commitment, knowing the sector, the client, and its strategy for the Kingdom. We had been preparing ourselves for a few years and arranged the right partnership strategy. We created the right mix between understanding the local requirements, introducing international best practices solutions and related success stories, and producing a competitive offer. As a result, we are honored to have been awarded this first-of-its-kind project that is strategic for both the company and the Kingdom. In terms of our growth strategy, Miahona’s mission is enhanced and strengthened. Over the last 12 months, we have re-strategized the company and have adopted a new operating model. We continue to be focused on strategic BOOT and O&M projects in the water and wastewater sector, leveraging key client bids in the Kingdom, while renewing our interest for the next clusters’ management contracts. Added to this, we are selectively looking at key players in the Kingdom, seeking to intercept their needs of water and wastewater infrastructure and services through customized business schemes.

Jesús Sancho

Director General Middle East, Jesús Sancho

Over the last 10 years, ACCIONA has been heavily involved in the Saudi market. We have three permanent establishments in Riyadh and one in Jeddah. These cover most of the core business units such as our heavy civil works construction division, the water/wastewater treatment division, and the industrial division, which deals with the rest of industrial facilities other than water/wastewater treatment. We are also introducing ourselves in the Saudi market as experts in digital transformation technologies applied to our core business units. Examples are the Digital-Twin, BIONS®, and GOTA® applications for water/wastewater and ACCIONA’s leadership in concrete 3D printing both based on the Powder-Bed DShape® and the Extrusion technologies. The most successful of ACCIONA’s business units in Saudi Arabia so far is the water/wastewater unit. We have designed and built two large seawater reverse-osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants and have three additional D&B ongoing contracts in the Kingdom for large SWRO plants for SWCC and SWPC. Overall, ACCIONA’s SWRO portfolio in the GCC generates a combined desalination capacity in excess of 2.8 million cbm per day, which makes us the GCC leader in the last five years. We have also worked in the operation and maintenance (O&M) of three large sewage treatment plants in the KSA for NWC.

Saud Tabbakh

CEO, Kindasa Water Services (KWS)

KWS is the first private potable water supply company engaged in seawater desalination and distribution of potable water to Jeddah Industrial City (JIC) and residential complexes in Jeddah. Thus, 24/7 water supply is of prime importance. In total, KWS owns three plans. Our main plant located in south Jeddah with capacity of 65,000cbm/day. We use the most energy-efficient equipment in our Jeddah plant. Our technology is state-of-the-art and helps us be sustainable and reduce power usage. Notably, KWS is ISO 14000 certified, and all our plants are built and operated and comply with PME standards in Saudi Arabia. We also ensure all waste chemicals are neutralized before they are discharged. A key objective of Vision 2030 is the water sector industry. Recently, Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) updated the seven-year plan for the water industry. The private sector is gearing up to play a bigger role in water desalination. SWPC plans to construct 11 newly desalination plants up to 2025. As of reducing reliance on the non-renewable ground resource (35%), MEWA set the target to increase the dependency on desalinated water by (90%). Kindasa is making serious effort to participate in the new opportunities and there will be a room for both international and local investors to be a part of this plan.

Nizar Kammourie

General Manager, SAWACO Water Desalination

We are a desalination company looking to improve its desalination projects. For the past 10 years, I have personally been trying to pursue technology that can desalinate the brine that we send back to the sea, as it is a costly commodity. It is sea water that has been filtered, cleaned, descaled, purified, sanitized, and passed through a membrane. It is clean water with high salinity that has been filtered in an expensive manner. The CEO and founder of Gradient spoke about CFRO technology that can increase the recovery from 35% up to 50-60%. We met in Boston and agreed on a pilot plan that was brought to Jeddah. Our experiment provided great results that met our expectations. SAWACO and Gradient are a perfect match. This will be a disruptive technology in desalination and is part of our environmental sustainability drive to reduce the quantity of salty water going back to the sea while producing more clean water at the same quantity. For the short term, our priorities are to maintain our market share and level of service and then look to establish niche markets during COVID-19, as industry is still operational. We want to cater to specific industries, which is the ultra-pure water market as many factories are still working.



You may also be interested in...

SA24_FI_CMA_PIC_Mr. Abdulaziz Binhassan


Abdulaziz Abdulmohsen Binhassan


Member of the Board of Directors, Capital Market Authority (CMA)


SAUDI ARABIA - Health & Education

Joel Huffman


Co-Founder & CEO, Arabius Technologies, Saudi Arabia


SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Mohammed AlShaibi


CEO, Tamkeen Technologies

View All interviews