Colin Hannan

Position: Director of water services, Regulation & Supervision Bureau, Abu Dhabi

Biography: Colin Hannan is a chartered civil engineer, educated at Kingston University in the UK, with extensive experience in the environmental, construction and public health fields. He has a long professional association with the Middle East, working in the 1980s on irrigation and water supply projects in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and sewerage infrastructure projects in Abu Dhabi. After a period working on sewerage and environmental schemes in the US, Hannon returned to the UK to take up the post of head of distribution support at South East Water. He returned to the Gulf region in March 2008, following his appointment as director of water services at the Regulation & Supervision Bureau of Abu Dhabi. The bureau is the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity
sectors in the emirate.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2443 9333

Alan Thomson

Position: Managing director, Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company

Biography: A civil engineer by training, Alan Thomson is a 30-year veteran of the water industry. He spent much of his career at the UK’s Strathclyde Regional Council Water Services, which he joined in 1979. He became a chartered civil engineer in 1983 and a corporate member of the Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management in 1985. The same year, Thomson began a part-time MBA at Strathclyde Business School, from which he graduated in 1989. His most recent position with the council was as customer and network services director before he left to take up a senior role with UK utility contractor Subterra. Before moving to Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company to become managing director in October 2005, he was regional director with international consultant Mouchel Parkman.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2694 3333

Mohamed Najem al-Awadhi

Position: Director of sewage plant department, Dubai Municipality

Biography: Mohamed Najem al-Awadhi has a BSc in electrical engineering and more than 20 years’ experience in all aspects of operating and maintaining Dubai’s Al-Aweer treatment plant. He is currently director of the sewage plant department for Dubai Municipality. Al-Awadhi has taken a leading role in planning and executing expansion projects and process optimisation, including commissioning a data collection system, instrumentation analyser equipment and a thermal drying plant for sludge. He is a member of the waste-to-energy working group at Dubai Municipality, which is planning a project to use municipal solid waste to produce energy. Until 2009, Al-Aweer was the sole treatment plant serving the emirate of Dubai. The commissioning of a new facility located at Jebel Ali began in August.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4221 5555

Olivier Crasson

Position: General manager, Ajman Sewerage Private Company

Biography: Olivier Crasson has an undergraduate degree in law and politics and a master’s degree in management from the Solvay Business School in Brussels. He started his career in the public sector as a project manager and joined Belgium’s Besix Group as business development director in 2005. During his time with the firm, he gained detailed knowledge of the Ajman sewerage project, which was then being restructured with Besix as the majority shareholder. In March 2006, Crasson took on the role of general manager of Ajman Sewerage Private Company and has overseen the construction of a modern sewerage network and treatment plant in the emirate. Besix owns a 50 per cent stake in Ajman Sewerage Private Company. France’s Veolia Water and the Ajman government each own a 20 per cent share and the remaining 10 per cent belongs to the US’ Black & Veatch.

Contact Tel: (+971) 6742 9910

Ibrahim Elwan

Position: Chairman, Tanqia

Biography: Ibrahim Elwan is founding chairman and chief executive officer of Dubai-based Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG), a company created in 1995 to develop and finance infrastructure and real estate projects. To date, ICG has developed projects in power, wastewater and real estate in the US, Europe, and the UAE to a total value of about AED2bn ($500m). One example is Tanqia, a privately owned wastewater utility in the emirate of Fujairah. Prior to establishing ICG, Elwan spent 19 years working at the World Bank, where he focused on the development of infrastructure, energy and the private sector in emerging economies. While at the bank, his roles included senior economist for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa; deputy division chief of power and transport for South Asia; and divisional chief of power and energy for South Asia, and later Turkey and Pakistan.

Contact Tel: (+971) 9228 2103

Abdel Aziz al-Mansouri

Position: Director of drainage department, Sharjah Municipality

Biography: Abdel Aziz al-Mansouri is director of the drainage department at Sharjah Municipality. He is directly responsible for managing the emirate’s sewage treatment plant in the Al-Saja industrial area, which became operational in 1978. Since then, the plant has been extended seven times to cope with rapid population growth. Under the guidance of Al-Mansouri, the drainage department is working to improve network coverage within the city, expanding sewer lines to reach new residential developments. It is also building centralised plants in other towns in the emirate with a population of more than 5,000, in a bid to reduce dependence on septic tanks. As the Al-Saja treatment plant is still struggling to cope with the amount of wastewater generated in the emirate, Sharjah Municipality is planning to build a second facility, scheduled to be operational by 2012.

Contact Tel: (+971) 6542 2774

  • Next week: Gulf/masterplanners