Manila Water bags new deal in Saudi Arabia

THE CONSORTIUM of Manila Water Co., Inc., French water distributor Saur Group, and Saudi Arabian Miahona Co. sealed another seven-year water contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Manila Water said in a stock exchange disclosure on Friday that Saudi Arabia’s state-operated water agency, National Water Co., awarded the management, operations, and maintenance contract to the consortium for the water and environmental treatment services in the eastern cluster of Saudi Arabia.

The cluster covers the cities of Dammam, Al Hofuf, Al Jubail, Al Khobar, Al Qatif and Hafar Al Bati. It has a population of 5.27 million and a supply demand of about 1,800 million liters of water daily.

J.V. Emmanuel A. de Dios, Manila Water president and chief executive officer, said winning the northwest and east clusters places the water firm and its partners in a strong competitive position once the same contracts are converted into long-term concessions.

In December 2020, Manila Water signed a seven-year water contract to manage and implement improvement initiatives for water and wastewater systems in the northwest cluster covering the provinces of Madinah and Tabuk.

“Manila Water will bring 24 years of experience and knowhow in the water space to provide innovative solutions to the water and wastewater requirements in a region whose population and demand are almost comparable to our existing concession area in eastern Metro Manila and Rizal Province,” Mr. de Dios said.

“Our operations beyond the East Zone as well as our international operations in the Asia Pacific region also provide us the leverage to better understand and address the needs of foreign markets in providing solutions through an appropriate public private partnership framework,” he added.

Manila Water holds a 30% interest in the consortium. The awarding of the water contract is included in Saudi Arabia’s target to drive its water infrastructure sector towards privatization.

Locally, the water firm provides water and wastewater services in the eastern part of Metro Manila, which includes Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and portions of Quezon City and Manila, and Rizal province.

It also has international ventures in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

On Friday, shares of Manila Water at the stock exchange rose 3.48% or 80 centavos to close at P23.80 apiece. —

Revin Mikhael D. Ochave