The tricky balance between provision and profit

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

UK water company Biwater is finding that making profits from water in poorer nations is a tough business.

Biwater has just been awarded a contract to construct a new water purification plant on the banks of the Nile. The aim is to supply clean drinking water to an estimated 2.5 million residents of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

The plant will become operational in 2008. The contract is worth $108 million and half of this amount will be donated by the Dutch government through the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO).

The South African state-run development bank, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is also contributing $50 million to the project.

Biwater will run the purification plant for a period of 12 years after which the state-run water utility, the Khartoum State Water Corporation, is expected to take over the management of the site.

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Source: Ethical Corporation (link opens in a new window)