EAB Support Life Improving Wastewater Project
Since 2007 EAB has been a long-term lender to a wastewater plant in the Emirate of Ajman, United Arab Emirates, which has significantly improved the environment and life for residents living in the local area. The project is the result of a public-private partnership between BESIX and Veolia, two international leading companies in the sector, working with the local Government of Ajman. It involves the construction, operation and maintenance of the sewage treatment works and an underground 300-kilometer pipeline network connected to the plant.
Prior to the facility being built, sewage disposal in the emirate would usually rely on septic tanks for each property, meaning regular emptying by sewage tanker; a noisy and odorous solution which created poor environmental standards. The project planned to build a 60,000m3 wastewater facility to treat and safely dispose of sewage, however since the project began, this capacity has gradually grown and, with another expansion currently under construction, it will soon reach an impressive 120,000m3.
The project created a plan for Ajman residents to pay for full-fledged services for the first time, i.e. collection, transportation and treatment of sewage. The collection rate for bills has reached 94% and this is improving on a monthly basis due to improved payment systems implemented by the project. A total of 120,000 properties are now connected to the treatment works, which was a target not expected to be reached until 2030.
With 50% of the treated water now being reused for industrial processes, district cooling and watering plants and recreational areas, the project has had a positive impact on the issue of water scarcity in the area. Furthermore, the joint venture is currently exploring ways to convert bio-gas from the waste into electricity, thus covering a significant portion of the power required for the treatment works. A marketing campaign aimed at local residents and school children has also been developed to promote the benefits of treating and saving water and appears to have been received well. All these initiatives are not only helping the environment, but are also transforming the everyday lives of the people of the Emirate of Ajman.
As a result of its success, other emirates and countries are understood to be considering similar projects.
Europe Arab Bank is proud to provide support to this project, which is improving environmental standards in Ajman and contributing to the future of the MENA region.