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London Business Matters

12 International February 2017 Infrastructure boost for Kurdistan Biwater have been contracted to deliver water and wastewater treatment solutions for the cities of Erbil (below) and Sulaimani in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Works will alleviate the current strain on existing infrastructure and reduce the region’s reliance on dwindling groundwater reserves to deliver long-lasting environmental benefits. As a part of this project, Erbil will be provided with a stateof the-art water treatment plant, while Sulaimani will benefit from water treatment plant upgrades and the construction of cutting-edge wastewater treatment works and sludge treatment facilities. At a signing event in London last December, Alastair White, deputy chairman of Biwater, acknowledged the support of UK Export Finance (UKEF), the Department for International Trade and HM Government teams in Erbil and Baghdad who have been instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. The London-based event was arranged to mark the signing of a loan to fund the project’s development works, which will include all relevant site surveys, social and environmental impact assessments and detailed designs. Development works will run for a period of 6-12 months before construction. Solutions “Since Biwater was founded in 1968, we have delivered many large international water projects across the globe, including strategic turnkey solutions throughout the Middle East. The signing of this contract in Kurdistan is a major landmark in providing technological and financial solutions that address complex water-related challenges in the region,” said Sir Adrian White, CBE, Biwater’s chairman. The loan for the work is being financed by UKEF. JP Morgan is acting as the facility agent and mandated lead arranger for the initial loan on behalf of UKEF to the Kurdistan Regional Government. Benefits Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, said, “This is great news for Biwater and for British exports, and I am delighted that UKEF is financing this hugely important contract. It shows what is possible when British technical excellence receives the right government support at the right time. The project will bring much needed benefits to Kurdistan and also offer substantial opportunities for supply chain companies based here in the UK.” Welcoming the water project and the loan agreement, Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said, “This is a significant step that will help improve the daily lives of the citizens of Erbil and Sulaimani. It is also the first time the UK government has provided a direct loan to the KRG to boost our infrastructure. We hope this initial loan will pave the way to attracting finance for the next stage of this important project. We also appreciate the high-level backing this project has received from the UK government, highlighting the close and fruitful relationship between the UK and the Kurdistan Region.” biwater.com Louis Taylor, chief executive of UK Export Finance (left) and Alastair White, deputy chairman, Biwater “This is a significant step that will help improve the daily lives of the citizens of Erbil and Sulaimani.”


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