Mohammad Mohammad Saleh, Director General of Etihad Water and Electricity, revealed to “Albayan” that the private sector investments in water projects amount to 2 billion dirhams. He explained that work is underway to achieve a storage capacity of potable water of no less than 500 million gallons through a bunch of projects, which include the various storage and distribution centers, of which 9 tanks with a total capacity of 180 million gallons are being implemented at Al-Khurija Distribution Center in Ras Al Khaimah, in addition to 2 tanks with a capacity of 40 million gallons at Al-Helio Distribution Center in Ajman.
He pointed out that Etihad Water and Electricity is currently also implementing a number of water network development projects by extending main transmission lines of different diameters with a total length of about 400 km and a cost of about 1.2 billion dirhams. Some of these lines extend from the new water desalination plant in Umm Al Quwain to Al-Khuraija distribution center, and some others extend from the Al-Khuraija distribution center towards the distribution centers in Al-Burairat, Al-Ghail and Al-Helio.
The Director General of Etihad Water and Electricity stated that the partnership between the public sector and the private sector plays an important role in providing the national economy with promising investments and overcoming the challenges of achieving sustainable development. The IPP model that was relied upon to implement the new water desalination plant in Umm Al Quwain is the most prominent form of this partnership in the existing projects, with a total investment amount exceeding 2 billion dirhams. On the other hand, there are continuous partnerships with the private sector through short and long-term contracts to implement electricity network development projects and maintenance works.
Saleh explained that within the framework of the initiatives launched by Etihad Water and Electricity with the aim of supporting certain categories of customers and in the overall interest of the national economy and achieving social stability, additional fees for freeholding in the category of resident’s housing have been canceled since the beginning of 2019 and for the rest of the categories in the month May last year.
Saleh revealed that Etihad Water and Electricity seeks to sustain the benefits that accrue to the agricultural sector in the areas in which it provides the service, and this will ensure the provision of the main ingredient on which this sector depends, which is water suitable for irrigation, as well as strengthening the national agricultural production in a manner that achieves self-sufficiency and strengthens the food security.