GCC wastewater report shows investment of $10B planned for new treatment capacity

DUBLIN, Ireland, June 15, 2009 -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "GCC Wastewater 2009 - The drive for capacity" report to their offering...

DUBLIN, Ireland, June 15, 2009 -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "GCC Wastewater 2009 - The drive for capacity" report to their offering. This report provides a comprehensive review of the sector in the GCC since 2005 and assesses the outlook for one of the region's most dynamic industries up to 2015.

In addition to providing in-depth analysis of supply and demand, projected investment levels, the role of the private sector and the technology of wastewater treatment, the report gives a country-by-country overview of the wastewater sector for Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE by emirate, with detailed tables, charts, graphs and maps.

Sewage treatment capacity will have to more than double over the next six years, according to new MEED Insight report GCC Wastewater 2009.

Utilities are seeking to meet robust demand and replace antiquated infrastructure, it says.

Despite the onset of the worst economic downturn in a decade, the outlook for the GCC wastewater sector - one of the most active over the past five years - remains bright, the report says, with almost $10bn of investment planned in new treatment capacity up to 2015.

The existing wastewater infrastructure has been under severe pressure since 2004 when strong economic growth, an expanding population base and an upsurge in real estate activity led to significant increases in sewage inflows and serious overloading at treatment plants across the region.

The late 2008 collapse in the oil price and subsequent real estate downturn put a brake on the runaway growth in demand, particularly in Dubai where leading real estate developers have cancelled or reduced in scope a string of sewage treatment plant (STP) projects in response to the real estate crash.

Across much of the region, the existing STP infrastructure is more than 20 years old and incapable of meeting today's demands, both in terms of handling volumes and treating effluent to international standards. It has become a priority, therefore, for utility providers across the region to take existing plants out of service and replace them with new capacity.

The GCC wastewater sector came under severe pressure in the period 2004-08 as strong economic growth, an expanding population base and an upsurge in real estate activity resulted in most utilities facing serious overloading issues due to double-digit increases in sewage inflows.

The economic downturn, starting in late 2008, put a brake on the runaway growth and had a major impact on the sector. In the first quarter of 2009, Dubai real estate developers cancelled or reduced in scope a string of sewage treatment plant (STP) projects in response to the property crash, while planned privately backed schemes in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were all hit by the meltdown in the project finance market.

In the period 2009-15, over 5 million cm/d of new treatment capacity is expected to be added in the GCC, which is well above existing capacity of 4.1 million cm/d. The highest requirements will be in Saudi Arabia followed by the UAE and Kuwait.

Based on late 2008 unit costs, the newbuild STP programme is estimated to be worth $9.3bn and over $15bn if the associated network costs are included. However, the cost of building capacity is expected to fall by 20-30 per cent in 2009, as a result of declining material prices and increasing contractor competition, due to declining workloads. The costs reduction will encourage utilities to press ahead with their works programmes again, after serious delays in the final quarter of 2008 and the early 2009 due to the intense uncertainty over cost and in some cases, the future demand outlook.

>> Click here for more information on the report

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