A water technology company in the United States aims to invest millions of dollars in a new treatment facility in Dubai.
New York-based Xylem will build the plant in Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority this year, totalling between US$25 to $35 million of investment in the first phase.
“Our goal is to significantly expand where we are today, at least doubling what our revenue is in the region over the next five years,” said Patrick Decker, the chief executive of Xylem.
Xylem focuses on the transport, treatment and testing of water, for which the market in the Middle East and North Africa is estimated to be worth about $1.8 billion.
“We’re focusing on real manufacturing, so it isn’t just assembly, but hardcore [production such as] our pump product lines,” Mr Decker said. “But over time, we will look to bring in treatment as well as other capabilities.”
The global market for water and wastewater treatment equipment is forecast to reach $53.4bn by 2020, according to US-based Global Industry Analysts. While the Mena region represents a significant area of growth, water demand in the UAE in particular is expected to double by 2030.
The estimated demand for water in the UAE stands at 4.2 billion cubic metres annually, according to the environment industry. This is about 364 litres per capita each day, well above the global average of 250 litres per capita each day.
The region accounts for just 5 per cent of Xylem’s existing portfolio. It expects to increase that to double digits over the next few years.
An added bonus to addressing the growing demand for water solutions is that these technologies can complement energy efficiency efforts – hot topic on the heels of the Paris climate talks last month.
“Anywhere between seven and 10 per cent of carbon emissions generated around the world are tied to some part of water management,” said Mr Decker.
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