Established as a subsidiary of Engicon in 2006, Engicon O&M offers a unique array of services to water utilities across the Middle East through Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives. PPP refers to an arrangement whereby public entities, such as governments or publicly-owned utilities, enter into contracts with the private sector to perform defined tasks in the provision of water supply and wastewater services. The term PPP is relatively new, but the concept is not. It is sometimes also referred to as private sector participation (PSP).
Different forms of private sector involvement in the water sector have been evident recently in the Middle East, from Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) or Build-Operate-Own-Transfer (BOOT) contracts to Management Contracts and Concessions. Although less common, service contracts have proven to be an equally successful tool at delivering improved efficiency with faster return on investment. This underused model of PPP may prove to be the solution that most water utilities in the Middle East are looking for.
Inefficiency in running public water utilities in the developing world costs an estimated $5 billion/year. By outsourcing services to private operators and tying their payments to contractually enforced operational performance measures, water utilities in developing countries can achieve massive gains with relatively little investments and risk.