ASAR - Al Ruwayeh& Partners (“ASAR”), Kuwait’s leading and most prominent corporate law firm, and one of the region’s top tier firms, is glad to declare that it acted as Kuwaiti legal counsel to the consortium comprised of WTE Wassertechnik GmbH (WTE) and International Financial Advisors Holding KSCP (the Consortium) who were awarded the Umm Al Hayman Wastewater Treatment Plant Project, a project developed under Kuwait’s Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Laws 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.
The Umm Al Hayman Wastewater Treatment Plant Project will encompass 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 lines and the construction of an electricity substation. The sewage treatment plant, that will make use of 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 consists of two parts, one of which will be improved according to the build, operate, transfer (BOT) system and the second according to the design, build and operate system (DBO).
WTE, as the main contractor, will be responsible for the design and construction of the sewage treatment plant with a contract value of about USD 719 million and in partnership with other contractors, the construction of a 450 kilometer sewage transmission network including pumping stations with a contract value of about USD 1.1 billion. With an estimated total construction cost of about 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.
This huge and complicated PPP project sets several precedents in terms of the documentation, structuring, procuring and financing of PPP projects in Kuwait that is bound to influence future PPP projects in Kuwait, and in the rest of the GCC.
In addition to advising on this ground breaking PPP project, which is the first project to be successfully procured under the PPP Law (Law No. 116 of 2014), ASAR worked alongside Hogan Lovells LLP- Frankfurt (international counsel) and the Consortium with regard to the negotiation of all the project agreements (including the TST PPP Agreement, the shareholders’ agreement and the EPC agreements). ASAR also worked alongside Hogan Lovells LLP and the Consortium in the negotiations and finalization of the finance agreements with the syndicate of lenders to the project which included six international and local banks. ASAR further advised on and assisted with the incorporation of the various project companies established to implement the project.
The ASAR team involved in this Project included: Ibrahim Sattout (Partner), Mohammed Abulwafa (Partner), Akusa Batwala (Partner), Dania Dib (Senior Associate), and Talal Bijjani (Senior Associate) along with other associates in the firm.
Ibrahim Sattout, Partner at ASAR noted that: “We are glad to have acted on behalf of the Consortium on this landmark project of utmost importance to the State of Kuwait. Following our involvement in the Az Zour North I IWPP first ever IWPP project concluded in Kuwait, our involvement in this project is a testament to the strength and depth of the confidence that international investors have put in ASAR. This latest deal highlights ASAR’s capabilities in servicing international investors in the Kuwaiti market.”
Akusa Batwala, Partner at ASAR noted that: “We are excited to have been a part of this ground breaking and precedent setting PPP project that was over four years in the making. 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 our clients in delivering this project.”
With dedicated offices in Kuwait and Bahrain coupled with its associated offices and relationships, ASAR offers customers throughout 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 constantly 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 pleased to receive for the 11th consecutive year.