TREAT IT WELL

Oman 2018 | GREEN ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Hussain Hassan Al Abdul Hussain, CEO of Haya Water, on the growing use of treated effluent, the cost savings involved, and key objectives for the year.

Hussain Hassan Al Abdul Hussain
BIOGRAPHY
Hussain Hassan Ali Abdul Hussain became the CEO of Haya Water in 2012. He brings with him 24 years of experience in oil and gas projects, business operations, and commercial developments in Oman. He graduated from the University of Arizona and spent 14 years working for Petroleum Development Oman.

What impact has your agreement with Tabreed Oman and the new strategy to sell treated wastewater had on Haya Water?

At the moment, we are looking for different uses for treated effluent (TE). The signing of our recent agreement with Tabreed Oman, for example, has allowed us to focus more on agricultural and industrial-related business activities. Although there was a great deal of pushback in using TE for agricultural purposes, there has been an enormous change in people's thinking in the past months; when people do not know a product and the ways in which it is used, even from a religious perspective, they may think it is not appropriate. However, this has now passed. In regard to Tabreed, our agreement will further change people's mindsets; it produces great water that can be used for all of the previously mentioned applications.

Where is Haya Water currently using its TE and what impact has it had?

We are proud that some malls, such as Panorama or MGM for example, use our TE for cooling purposes. In addition, Al Mouj's 'The Wave' is also using our effluent as part of their water-cooling system. We also use TE on playgrounds, and are currently working with the Ministry of Sports to meet the presidents of each Omani football club to explain the benefits of using our TE in stadiums and other outdoor athletic venues. We are also looking to use TE in car washing activities, and are actively pushing for TE to be used in the food industry. At the moment, we use 60% of TE for various applications and want to increase its use to 90-95%, hopefully by 2025. Unfortunately, we still do not have networks set up in every location. Nevertheless, this year with the help of the Muscat Municipality and the regional governorate we are producing almost 200,000 metric cubes of TE per day, 50-60% of which is being used now. Using that much TE instead of potable and desalinated water helps the government save millions of rial, as the cost of producing one cubic meter of desalinated water is high. In 2016, the government saved almost OMR30 million for using TE water for different applications, instead of potable water. On top of that, there are also multiple environmental aspects involved; desalination uses a great deal of power.

What projects is Haya Water currently active in?

We already know that Tabreed is active at the Pal Mall project and will deliver the TE for cooling purposes, but will also supply the water for irrigation and connect the mall to our wastewater system. On the other hand, at the Mall of Oman we have already completed the design and finalized the tender process; final approval from the Ministry of Finance is still pending, however. This project is special though; TE will be used throughout the OMR200 million project and in a hotel for cooling purposes. We also want to connect the Crown Plaza and the JW Marriott to our wastewater system. Finally, we are working with the Muscat Municipality and water resources to supply many parks with TE. Furthermore, we want to supply TE for the expressway, as there are no trees there.

What are Haya Water's main objectives for 2018?

The main objective is to complete our ongoing projects, plus start some key projects in wastewater. We also are looking for PPP options, and have already floated a tender to hire consultants who can help us with these kinds of projects. We want to increase our connectivity. We also want to increase TE sales, and sell more of the compost product that we are making. Besides these points, we will also focus on reducing our operating costs to break even and become more competitive and efficient. Finally, we would also like Haya Water to do business outside of Oman.