FCC, Orascom close Egypt’s first PPP

A subsidiary of Spanish construction company FCC together with Egyptian firm Orascom Construction have reached financial close for the pathfinder PPP – the €360m New Cairo wastewater treatment facility. Four regional banks provided debt for the project.

A consortium comprising Aqualia, a subsidiary of Spanish construction company FCC, and Egypt’s Orascom Construction have reached financial close for Egypt’s first public-private partnership.

Both companies are equal partners in the consortium that will build, operate and maintain the €360 million New Cairo wastewater treatment plan for a period of 20 years. The facility will serve a population of over one million inhabitants and will be able to treat some 250,000 litres of water per day.

A club of four banks comprising the National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB), the Commercial International Bank Egypt, the Arab African International Bank and the Ahli United Bank Egypt are providing debt for the project. FCC said in a statement that the consortium, the lenders and the government signed a direct agreement which provides additional guarantees for the deal.

The Aqualia/Orascom consortium, named Orasqualia, beat competition from the likes of Veolia, Kharafi, Metito and Befesa to win the contract, awarded by the Egyptian Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Developments in conjunction with the Egyptian Ministry of Finance.

Aqualia manages over 300 wastewater plants across the world and has over €12 billion in assets. Orascom Construction is based in Cairo and is Egypt’s biggest listed construction company. As of September 2009, infrastructure investments comprised 60 percent of its $7.2 billion order backlog. It recently entered into a joint venture with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure to invest in infrastructure projects across the Middle East and Africa.