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British firm in $36m deal for Bahrain's Tubli wastewater plant

Bluewater Bio to work on Ukef-backed project for Ministry of Works under 22-month contract

British firm Bluewater Bio has won a contract to work on Bahrain's Tubli wastewater treatment plant.
© Bahrain Ministry of Works
British firm Bluewater Bio has won a contract to work on Bahrain's Tubli wastewater treatment plant.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Works has awarded a $36.5m (BHD13.8m) contract to British water treatment provider Bluewater Bio to work on the Tubli wastewater treatment plant as part of a scheme backed by UK Export and Finance (Ukef).

Bluewater Bio’s contract will see it working as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor, as well as technology supplier, for the Tubli plant’s upgrade and expansion.

The 22-month deal will also see Bluewater Bio operating and maintaining the plant, alongside another facility that was five years ago fitted with the British firm’s Hybrid Activated Sludge (Hybacs) technology.

The contract is Bluewater Bio’s second with the ministry, and will see Tubli delivering an additional 120 million litres per day (MLD), bringing its total capacity to 230 MLD.

Infrastructure upgradation is a key part of Bahrain's Vision 2030 mandate.

Tubli is Bahrain’s largest wastewater treatment plant and serves a population of around 1.4 million people. HM the British Ambassador to Bahrain, Simon Martin CMG, said Bluewater Bio’s portfolio expansion with the Bahraini ministry is “an excellent example of the positive […] environmental impact” that British firms can have in the kingdom.

Hybacs technology, according to Bluewater Bio’s commercial director, Fergus Rooksby, can increase plant capacity by 2.5 times without the need for new structures, which is beneficial for areas with limited space.

“Where existing plants are already overloaded, the ability to build the additional capacity entirely offline and avoid compromising the already stressed assets any further, is proving to be a compelling factor for a number of our clients,” he continued.

READ: Bahrain completes Phase 1 of Tubli Bay walkway project

The Ukef-backed project is one of the schemes that Bluewaters Bio is working on in the GCC, with the installations of its technology also under way in Saudi Arabia. In a statement, the company said it would use Bahrain as “an important base and hub for the region”.

HE Ahmed Aziz Al Khayat, under-secretary of Bahrain’s Ministry of Works, said Bluewater Bio’s track record in the kingdom helped it secure repeat work on the Tubli project. The development is part of Bahrain’s ambition to expand its infrastructure, in line with its Vision 2030 mandate.

READ: British firm snaps up contract for Saudi Arabia's $23bn Riyadh Metro

Commenting on the contract win, Bluewater Bio’s executive chairman, Richard Haddon, said: “I am delighted that we have been engaged to install our technology to further enhance the ongoing environmental improvements to Tubli Bay, which is wetlands of international importance and a registered Unesco Ramsar site.

“The Government of Bahrain has made this decision knowing us and our products, as they have existing Hybacs units operating successfully within their treatment works.”  


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Construction Week - Issue 759
Feb 22, 2020