KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A concession agreement made this Friday in West Bengal, India grants Haldia Water Management Ltd (HWML) a contract to build a large-scale water treatment plant in the port city of Haldia, reports Reuters. The new HWML plant is expected to pump 113.5 million liters per day. HWML is an associate company of Malaysia’s Ranhill Utilities Bhd.
In addition to this contract, Ranhill’s HWML was also granted a 25-year opportunity to operate another water plant of similar scale. Ranhill is a one Malaysia’s major construction and engineering companies, with significant projects in the oil and gas sectors. In 2006 the company received $200 million for its expansion of an oilfield in Sudan.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) cites that 97% of India’s water withdrawal supplies agriculture and homes; however, the new plants will invest their supply in heavy industry projects, such as those of Fortune 500 company TATA Steel.
“There is huge demand for water with investors coming in to set up industries in Haldia. Tata Steel itself is investing in coke and power plants which would require a lot of water,” said Ranhill’s chief executive officer, Ahmad Zahdi Jamil, in a quote to Malaysian national news agency, Bernama.
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