“We plan to triple our capacity by 2010,” Ahmed Butti Ahmed, chairman of Palm Utilities, said as he launched the company in Dubai. “We are aiming to develop business in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar and internationally, including in India and China.”

Palm Utilities has been set up by Istithmar World, the investment arm of the Dubai World group of companies. Dubai World is a conglomerate of Dubai government-owned businesses, including ports operator DP World and property developer Nakheel.

Palm Utilities groups together two existing Dubai World companies, Palm Water and Palm District Cooling.

Palm Water provides utilities to major Dubai developments including Palm Jumeirah where it owns and operates a 64,000-cubic-metre-a-day (cm/d) desalination plant and a 35,000 cm/d sewage treatment plant.

In late 2007, Palm Water awarded a design and build contract to a consortium of France’s Degremont and Belgium’s Besix for a 220,000 cubic-metre-a-day sewage treatment at Jumeirah Golf Estates (MEED 11:12:07). It will be the largest sewage treatment plant in the world using membrane biotechnology reactor technology. Its first phase is due to start operating in April.

Palm District Cooling says it will raise its capacity of 550,000 tonnes of district cooling to raise to 1.8 million tonnes by 2010.