Fernandez to boost ACWA’s PPP push in MENA

Leading Spanish economist Luis Fernandez has joined environmental solutions provider ACWA Emirates as chief officer concessions for the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region to provide in-depth support for the company’s drive into the public-private partnership (PPP) sector.

Fernandez has extensive experience in project financing and the environmental and infrastructure sectors. He will leverage the company’s reverse-osmosis (RO) desalination, wastewater treatment, water recycling and potable water treatment expertise teamed with an ACWA Board equity investment initiative to develop PPP water treatment projects.

His previous wastewater treatment plant PPP experience includes the financial close of the Abu Dhabi Water Electricity Authority’s 25-year build-own-operate-transfer projects at Wathba in Abu Dhabi and Saad in Al Ain.

Fernandez says : “The countries in the MENA region are making an effort to increase GDP growth by developing their vital infrastructure, mostly water treatment facilities, through a PPP model.”

He adds: “Governments in the region are taking the initiative in creating a technical partnership to update their legal framework and regulations, thus ensuring a competitive bidding process to enhance the confidence of consultants, contractors, developers and financial advisors, all of whom contribute to feasible PPP project development.

Fernandez believes that ACWA’s extensive experience in the region, which includes construction of the Palm Jumeirah RO plants and what is believed to be the largest membrane-bioreactor wastewater treatment plant in the world at Al Ansab in Oman, means the company already has significant resources to successfully develop PPP projects in the region.