Utico Middle East seeks to expand desal capacity and market share in UAE

UAE company Utico Middle East is to invest $185 million to more than double its desalination capacity over two years, reports Reuters.

Utico wants to expand its current capacity of 31 million gallons per day of desalinated water from four desal plants, by building a new plant and upgrading two.

The new plant, with capacity of 24 million gallons per day, is a joint venture with Grupo Cobra of Spain, and is costing $196 million. The two plant upgrades will add 10 million gallons per day of desalinated water, for an investment of $68 million.

“The new plant and two upgrades will be operational at full capacity by October 2018, when our total capacity will be 65 mega gallons per day,” Utico managing director, Richard Menezes, told Reuters.

The market for desalinated water in UAE is currently dominated by state operators. Utico serves 600 customers, including manufacturing companies, port operators, hotels, palaces, quarries, and some government utilities in small UAE states.

Financing for the next stage of Utico’s development is partly through bank loans and partly through equity.