UAH Wastewater Project – PPP Deal of the Year

Published on:  

The Umm Al Hayman wastewater mega-project in Kuwait, one of the largest and most complex wastewater projects in the world, was named ‘PPP Deal of the Year for Middle East and Africa’ at the 2020 PFI Awards.

Project Finance International magazine has been a leader in project finance coverage for 25 years. As one of the most comprehensive and authoritative publications for the industry, it covers all major sectors, including transport, energy, oil and gas, infrastructure and mining.

The PFI Awards are the premier industry benchmark for those involved in financing projects around the world. Winning is considered the ultimate accolade in the global project finance industry.

The Umm Al Hayman wastewater mega-project is a key piece of infrastructure. The US$1.4 billion project includes a new 500,000 m2 wastewater treatment plant financed by a US$650 million project loan plus US$130 million equity, and a network of pipelines and pumping stations financed by the government through a design, build and operate (DBO) contract. The project is being implemented by a consortium comprising WTE Wassertechnik GmbH (“WTE”), a wholly owned subsidiary of EVN AG, and a local financial investor, each with a 50% stake.

Given the combination of private and public financing (PPP model: private-public partnership), the project managers had to develop a unique contractual structure.

The challenging project (with its complex financing structure of six international and national banks) was managed by international advisory firms (including Hogan Lovells for legal aspects, KPMG France for financial aspects). This included project procurement and tendering, structuring, project contracts, project financing, EPC as well as operator contracts.

In January 2020, the Ministry of Public Works in Kuwait and the project company established for this project (indirect EVN/WTE share 20%) signed the agreement for the construction and implementation of the wastewater treatment project, partly under a public-private partnership model. And subsequently, in July, the financial close with the banks and the Ministry of Public Works in Kuwait was successfully brought about. The contract has thus come into full force and effect.

WTE is very pleased to have received this important award. It is hoped that other EVN and WTE projects will also be rewarded with such outstanding recognition in the years to come.