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Aqualia to build and operate a sewage treatment plant in Cairo (Egypt)


Aqualia to build and operate a sewage treatment plant in Cairo (Egypt)

  • The contract represents more than 360 million euro in revenues.
  • The plant will treat 250 million litres/day.
  • It is Aqualia's first contract in Egypt.


Egypt's Ministry of Housing, Public Services and Urban Development has awarded the contract to design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) the New Cairo sewage treatment plant in Cairo to a consortium in which Aqualia, FCC's subsidiary specialised in end-to-end water management, has a 50% stake in partnership with Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries. The tender was coordinated by the International Finance Corporation, which is a member of the World Bank.

The public-private partnership will obtain revenues of more than 360 million euro over the course of the 20-year contract.

FCC's competitors for the contract included top international companies in the sector, such as Veolia, Kharafi, Metito and Befesa.

The plant will treat the sewage of more than a million people and will have the capacity to treat 250 million litres of water per day. The sewage treatment plant and the sludge storage zone will span areas of 305,506 m2 and 192,671 m2, respectively.

The plant will have a water processing line including 4 pretreatment and primary decanting lines, 6 biological treatment and secondary decanting lines and 10 tertiary treatment lines; it will also have a sludge treatment system with 6 thickening lines (3 for primary sludge and 3 for secondary sludge), 4 anaerobic digestion lines and 8 dehydration lines.

The treated water will be stored in existing settling ponds for reuse in irrigation, and the sludge will be reused for agricultural purposes. The biogas produced will be used to heat and operate the sludge treatment system.

This is Aqualia's first contract in Egypt and it extends the company's international outreach, particularly its strategy to expand in North Africa, where it is already building two of the largest desalination plants on the continent in the Algerian towns of Mostaganem and Cap Djinet. Aqualia is also actively bidding for new water infrastructure contracts in Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. In the Middle East, the company has opened a business development office in the United Arab Emirates; it has projects under way in the UAE, as well as in Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia, where there are prospects for major business opportunities in the coming years.

Aqualia manages more than 300 water treatment plants worldwide (Spain, the Czech Republic and Portugal, etc.) that treat more than 400 million cubic metres of waste water each year and ensure it returns to the environment under optimal conditions, which is crucial for the sustainable development of cities and a fundamental part of the comprehensive water cycle.

The company recently signed a four-year 80 million euro agreement with the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBDR) to upgrade water management systems in Central and Eastern Europe through direct investment in infrastructure and through acquiring stakes in water services companies.

Aqualia, which ended 2008 with revenues of 845 million euro and a backlog of almost 12 billion euro, remains committed to expanding abroad; it currently operates in the Czech Republic, Portugal, Italy, Algeria, China and Mexico, serving more than 26 million people worldwide.

FCC's foray into the water management business began in 1990, and in less than two decades it has become one of the world's leading companies in the sector.

In Spain, Aqualia has a 34% share of the outsourced water management market. The company provides water services in 1,100 municipalities to more than 26 million people. In 2007, Aqualia was named "Water Company of the Year" by prestigious international magazine Global Water Intelligence, a fitting tribute to its track record and international scope. It was also awarded the Customer Service Leadership of the Year award by prestigious UK consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.