Kharafi/Al-Qudra team up

03 March 2006

The UAE's Al-Qudra Holding and Utilities Development Company Holdings, a subsidiary of Kuwait-based Kharafi Group, have joined forces to create a new utilities firm aimed at developing public sector projects across the region. Al-Qudra will hold a 60 per cent share in Emirates Utilities Company Holding (EUCH).

The company will initially target build-operate-transfer (BOT) or build-own-operate (BOO) opportunities in a range of sectors, including power, water, infrastructure, aviation, logistics and industry. 'We will be prequalifying and bidding when there is an invitation from the government, particularly in Abu Dhabi, which is increasingly turning to the private sector,' said Al-Qudra chairman Salah Salem bin Omair al-Shamsi on 18 February.

The company confirmed that it would be bidding to operate and maintain Abu Dhabi's municipal and solid waste treatment and disposal, for which a request for proposals was recently issued (MEED 17:2:06).

EUCH will initially have a paid-up capital of AED 5 million ($1.4 million). Projects will be financed through a mixture of debt and equity, with the firm likely to bid on schemes valued above $50 million. 'Every investment will have a separate special purpose company created and funds will be made available as required for projects,' said Kharafi National deputy managing director Samer Younis.

With a capital of about $350 million and assets of $1,200 million, the Kharafi Group operates a host of projects including one of the world's largest water treatment plants at Sulaibiya in Kuwait and the region's first BOT airport at Marsa Alam in Egypt. Established with capital of AED 550 million ($149.7 million) in May 2005, Abu Dhabi-based Al-Qudra aims to launch 30 ventures by the end of the year in various sectors ranging from oil and gas training and simulation, real estate and hospitality to sports and education management (MEED 27:1:06).

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