The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Belgian construction giant BESIX have signed a joint venture to operate and maintain an existing waste treatment plant in Sharjah’s Al Saja’a area.

The newly formed company, borne as a result of the agreement, is called QATRA and will, according to a statement by BESIX, continue to expand the wastewater infrastructure in line with Sharjah’s masterplan, whilst “ensuring the highest level of operating excellence and service to all stakeholders”.

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The Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) was signed by HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Shurooq’s executive chairman, and Olivier Crasson, executive vice president of BESIX Middle East.

BESIX added: “The expansion plans will also enable the plant to maximise the amount of reused water produced, thereby doubling the capacity from 30 million litres of high-recycled water to per day to 60 million litres per day, mainly for industrial use.

Speaking on the latest agreement, HE Marwan Al Sarkal, said: “The formation of QATRA is not only extremely beneficial in terms of Sharjah’s ecology, but also the emirate’s economy and we are delighted to be working with BESIX who have played a fundamental role in constructing some of the UAE’s most impressive and recognised landmarks including the Burj Khalifa and the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.”

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BESIX said sustainable water is one of the core objective of the new PPP, and strengthens Sharjah’s commitment to furthering an important UN Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG).

Crasson added: “We now have a unique project involving innovation, technology, the environment, sustainability and water, and we are very happy to participate in the evolution of this sector for Sharjah, in collaboration with Sharjah and Shurooq.”