Major water-sector contractor formed in Dubai

The Leighton Group, which has been involved in the construction of three of Australia’s large seawater desalination plants, has brought two group companies together in Dubai, UAE, to create a strong water and environment contracting company.

The Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) has joined forces with John Holland, to create Advance Water & Environment (AWE). Leighton companies, including John Holland, were involved in the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne desalination plants.

HLG CEO and managing director Jose Antonio Lopez-Monis performed the launch of AWE in Abu Dhabi on 28 November 2012, and said the company was uniquely placed to pursue water and environment opportunities in the region.

“Water and water-related projects are key growth markets for HLG. AWE, and the strength of both HLG and John Holland places us in an excellent position to take advantage of the increasing opportunities in this growing sector. This strategic partnership will put us at the forefront of desalination, wastewater treatment and recycling, water storage and transmission, and specialist environmental projects in the region.”

Driven by population growth and an increasing demand for modern infrastructure, it is expected that more than US$ 50 billion will be invested in GCC water-related projects over the next five years.

“Given the size, complexity and specialist skills required for this market, AWE is in the enviable position of being able to tap into the expertise of its joint venture partners, HLG and John Holland, and more broadly with our shared parent companies – the Leighton Group, HOCHTIEF and ACS – to deliver early and effective entry into this sector in the Gulf region,” added Lopez-Monis.

“The establishment of this new specialist business aligns with HLG’s strategy to diversify into new markets and new geographies. Our initial focus is on delivering more projects in Qatar, where we already have a strong track-record with Kahramaa, and pursuing more opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq.”