Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel Energy & Environmental Services has announced it has established a new company to develop projects across the water supply, treatment and wastewater sectors.

The Saudi energy investor and developer has established Almar Water to complement and build on the success of its acquisition of Spanish energy company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) in 2015. Similarly to Abdul Latif Jameel’s renewable energy arm, the newly created Almar will seek to develop utility assets through financing and construction.

“[For Almar and FRV] we will develop, finance, build and operate, and then sell the assets, but keep the operation and maintenance of the assets,” said Roberto De Diego Arozamena, CEO of Abdul Latif Energy, at the launch of the new water division on 15 January.

Arozamena says that the launch of the new company has been driven by the Saudi Vision 2030, but that the company was seeking to be a major international player in the water sector.

“We looked at the Saudi vision – and implication of this for our business, and there is huge opportunities for water being communicated by government,” said Arozamena. “But the demand for desalination, water treatment and water recovery is not just for region – but internationally.”

The Abdul Latif Jameel Energy CEO also said that the merging of renewable energy and desalination would enable the company to utilise its capabilities in the alternative energy and water sectors to develop renewable energy-powered desalination plants in the future.

Carlos Cosin, CEO of Almar Water Solutions, said that the shift towards private-financing for major utility projects should offer increasing opportunities for developers in the water space in the Middle East.

“There is a changing way of developing infrastructure, for the standard design and build towards PPP [public-private partnership].”

“It is not just desalination, it is wastewater plants in the municipal and industrial sectors,” said Cosin.

Cosin said that financing, building and operating and maintaining plants water projects would be the main target, the company will also be able to undertake EPC projects.