Kuwait – 10, July 2021: ASAR - Al Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR), Kuwait’s leading and most prominent corporate law firm, and one of the region’s top tier firms, is pleased to announce that it acted as Kuwaiti legal counsel to the consortium comprised of WTE Wassertechnik GmbH and International Financial Advisors Holding KSCP on Umm Al Hayman Wastewater Treatment Plant PPP Project which recently won the IJGlobal 2020 MENA Award for the best sewage water treatment deal in the MENA region. This project was also previously recognized as the 2020 Middle East PPP Deal of the Year by Project Finance International (PFI) magazine. Both IJGlobal and PFI magazine are reputable and leading global project finance journals.
The Umm Al Hayman Wastewater project is developed pursuant to Kuwait’s Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Laws and under the auspices of the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) and the Ministry of Public Works. The Project agreements were signed on the 23rd of January 2020 and financial close was reached in July 2020.
The project structure combines both the build, operate and transfer system (BOT) and the design, build and operate system (DBO) in one project agreement, which is unprecedented in Kuwait and creates unique interface challenges for the sponsors, the lenders and legal counsels in terms of contractual structuring, documentation and financing. The project consists of the construction of a new sewage treatment plant within the boundaries of the current Umm Al-Hayman water purification plant, to treat wastewater with an initial capacity of 500,000 cubic meters of average daily flow, as well as the construction of 450 kilometers of sewage and treated water transmission network (including pumping stations) in addition to an electricity substation. The sewage treatment plant, that will utilize the latest wastewater treatment technology, will be designed with the capacity to be extended by 200,000 cubic meters per day, with a final capacity of 700,000 cubic meters per day. The project. With an estimated total construction cost of approximately USD 1.8 billion (excluding financing and operating costs), the Umm Al Hayman Wastewater Treatment Plant Project will be one of the world’s largest and most complex water treatment projects.
The ASAR team involved in this Project included: Ibrahim Sattout (Partner), Mohammad Abulwafa (Partner), Akusa Batwala (Partner), Dania Dib (Senior Associate) and Ahmed Labib (Senior Associate) along with other associates in the firm.
Sam Habbas, Senior Partner at ASAR noted that: “We are delighted to have acted on behalf of the Consortium on this landmark and award winning project in Kuwait; a project of great importance to the State of Kuwait. Following our involvement in the Az Zour North I IWPP, which was the first ever IWPP project concluded in Kuwait, we are honored to be part of the ongoing development of the PPP projects landscape in Kuwait. In particular, our involvement in the Umm Al Hayman project is a testament to the level of strength and expertise that ASAR has in this area of the law, and as a result of which, we believe also provides a deep sense of comfort for our clients as well as local and international investors and other stakeholders involved in the project.”
Ibrahim Sattout, Partner at ASAR observed that: “We are thrilled to have been a part of this ground breaking and precedent setting PPP project in terms of the documentation, structuring, procuring and financing, and that is bound to influence future PPP projects in Kuwait, and in the rest of the GCC. We were privileged to have worked with and represented the world class Consortium in this high profile transaction and we appreciate the confidence and trust that they put in our firm. We look forward to continuing to assist KAPP and the private sector in delivering similar projects in the future.”
With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, ASAR provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with comprehensive legal advice and support for their business activities in Kuwait, across the GCC and beyond.
The firm has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and commercial law firm in Kuwait by reputable legal guides such as the Chambers Global Guide, International Financial Law Review (IFLR) and the Legal 500. In 2019, ASAR was awarded with the IFLR Most Innovative Law Firm of the Year Award; an award which ASAR has been delighted to receive for the 11th consecutive year.