TBY talks to Eng. Hussain Hassan Ali AbdulHussain, CEO of Haya Water, on infrastructure provision and making sure wastewater is not wasted.

Eng. Hussain Hassan Ali AbdulHussain
Eng. Hussain Hassan Ali AbdulHussain was appointed CEO of Haya Water in January 2012, with close to 25 years of experience in oil and gas projects, operations, business operation and commercial developments in Oman. A graduate from the University of Arizona, US, his previous employment history included, among others a 14-year stint at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the Oman Oil Company, contributing to the establishment of Oman Petrochemical Industries Company (OPIC), Oman Refineries and Petrochemicals Company (ORPC), as Business Development and Marketing General Manager, and establishing his own Engineering Support and Services business.

How is Haya Water contributing to the development of Muscat?

Infrastructure projects underpin the development of any city, wherever it may be in the world. And where infrastructure is incomplete, the city cannot fully take shape. As part of the projects we are involved in, we install taps for fiber optics. Currently, we are also taking an integrated approach of utilities and services as part of our projects. In certain areas, we will also be installing a gas network as part of a development. Therefore, we are looking at an integrated approach for the development of Muscat, and, of course, the same will apply beyond Muscat, too. In the country overall, the idea is to develop the wastewater network, and, with that, other utilities networks. This will expedite the development not only of Muscat, but also of Oman as a whole.

How do you rate Oman in terms of wastewater management compared to other GCC countries?

Dubai, for example, has a wastewater system in certain areas, but not universally. And if you travel from Dubai to Oman, you find a long line of yellow tankers leading to a plant by the highway. We are ahead of Dubai in certain terms, while lagging in others. Yet, Oman is in the process of developing nationwide. In the Emirates, and particularly in Abu Dhabi, it appears that various municipalities are undertaking responsibility for their respective zones. In contrast, Oman's infrastructural efforts are centralized under a single entity for better supervision and greater efficiency. Moreover, the size of Oman does not merit multiple entities.

Does your activity in Muscat represent a template of effective water management and treatment for the region?

I would answer yes, absolutely. In fact, we have a project in all areas of Muscat. Modern cities will have a single vast reservoir, which we will service. And once this model proves successful, it will be applied to historical cities, such as Nizwa, Sohar, Sur, and Salalah. In Europe, many cities have narrow streets, and Mutrah is rather like that. Certain European cities first developed, and then installed infrastructure around 200 years ago. Others did the reverse. We fit into the former category, meaning that we develop cities first, and Mutrah will be the role model for that approach.

What is the impact of Haya Water on the local environment?

It is huge, and one crucial object we pursue is the prevention of ground water contamination. We transform the sludge generated at treatment plants into a user-friendly product, namely compost. And to make a huge volume of water available, we could reduce our reliance on energy-intensive desalination plants. This is one of the ways in which we contribute to environmental protection.

How do you contribute to the agricultural sector?

We are looking at how we can use treated water for agriculture. We have already commenced dialog with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and are poised to work on experimental farms for a three-year period. If successful, we could proceed to actual implementation. We also supply the market with our fertilizer “Kala," today highly popular and demanded by farmers nationwide.

What are some of your major achievements of recent years?

In terms of numbers, Omanization is one of our key attributes. We have now reached almost an 82% Omanization rate, which is a stunning achievement. In certain areas, we have also worked on our cost controls. Meanwhile, we are seeing an annual increase in our treated effluent (TE) utilization rate. At the moment, we supply water to four golf courses in Oman. Significantly too, we have increased our customer base, adding 5,000 customers in 2013 alone.