Can you talk about some of the most significant contracts that you have been involved in, in order to develop the operations of Haya Water?
Over the past 12 months we have awarded a number of projects. Two were awarded in Al Alamerat, among them an STP project, which we awarded to a joint venture, a French company and a local company. We are proud of this JV, because it consists of one international party with a lot of experience in designing, building and operating STPs, and a local company that has limited experience in STP projects. There will be a lot of knowledge transfer from the international company to the local partner, which will help the Oman economy. We also recently awarded a project to expand our STP in Al Ansab to the Korean company Doosan. This is a fast-track project, which must be finished within 24 months. This sort of project has a lot of challenges because it is a brown field project. Working in a live plant with this kind of equipment brings a lot of challenges to us from both an HSE position, as well as from an operational point of view. This needs to be managed carefully. We also awarded two projects in Seeb in the past 12 months and a project which involves building sea outfall in Darsait in Adaiba. The past 12 months have rendered a significant number of projects. There is huge demand at the moment for a connection in Wilayat Bosher and we have already reached ultimate capacity.
From a managerial perspective, what are some of the technical challenges that you face?
Finding consultants and contractors is challenging, those are key areas, and we are trying to deal with them through workshops and by attending conferences. The topography of Muscat is a challenge as well. We must dig as deep as 18 to 20 meters. The route we select is crucial as well, as the sewage flow is by gravity and not by pressure. We also face challenges with not disrupting the home-life of the general public. We still need proper drawings and documentation of the utilities and undergrounds services. Another challenge is NOCs, because sometimes we need huge numbers of NOCs to do projects. The topography of Muscat cannot be changed, but the rest of the challenges we are focusing on and trying to work on.
Can you discuss the selection process you go through to bring qualified contractors on board?
First of all we operate a transparent tendering process. Everyone can track what is happening with a project. As far as making sure that we have the right service provided, we do a proper evaluation of qualifications of the rejected bids. We have two steps to qualify: a pre-qualification evaluation and the technical evaluation. However, we had to find a balance, as we cannot make it too stringent but we also need to ensure that we are not too lenient. We select developed as standard criteria, so that when we have a project that we want to float, it is very easy to evaluate the bids. With that we can now qualify more service provide and faster, as the criteria becomes easy to understand.
How has Haya Water promoted itself on a corporate level, as well as supporting other businesses?
We participate in a lot of events and that is where we network with a variety of stakeholders. We also have a lot of advertising in the papers. We talk with all different entities. In terms of Al Muj Muscat, they are interested in our compost plant. A compost plant gets its feedstock from sludge from different plants, and recently, we started our Seeb STP plant operation, which is producing a lot of sludge. We mix 2:1, two parts sludge, one part green waste, to produce our compost. We are also in discussions with Be'ah and PDO.