Muscat: State-owned Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) is continuing with its project to privatise the Muscat Electricity Distribution Company (MEDC), it said in its annual report.
“During 2015, PAEW approved the recommended strategic option for the MEDC privatisation process, which has been proposed by the study consultants and has obtained approval from the Ministry of Finance to proceed with the remaining stages of the study,” the annual report added.
Like other privatisation programmes, the whole purpose of the proposed privatisation is to improve customer service and enhance efficiency of the company.
PAEW also said that it represents the government in the follow-up team supervising development of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) long-term water strategy with continuous coordination and involvement of key stakeholders.
“The strategy addresses key challenges facing the water sector in the GCC countries with emphasis on common challenges and joint efforts and coordination required. The study was formally completed in 2015 and is now in the approval process,” the annual report said.
In 2011, PAEW signed a five year co-management contract with Veolia to improve performance, exceed customers’ expectations and develop its people through knowledge transfer and training.
“In October 2015, we commenced a three month transition period during which there was a smooth handover of responsibility from Veolia to PAEW key personnel, culminating in the completion of the contract on January 21, 2016.”
As part of the management contract, 12 PAEW strategies were developed. The implementation of these strategies was led by key staff from Veolia with an owner from PAEW for each strategy. Five programme boards were established to control the implementation of the management contract strategies projects plus two new future strategies.
Implementation of the 12 strategies now stands at 92 per cent and PAEW is carrying out a business review across the organisation in order to develop new strategies with support from the 5-programme boards to continue its vision to be world class utility provider; redeveloping the organisation vision, mission, procedures, policies and strategies for the coming years in line with its maturity level to ensure sustainability and continuing growth.
Also, PAEW continues to invest heavily in development and improvement of its networks – to extend piped water supplies to new areas and to improve services across our service area. In 2015 total spend on capital projects was almost OMR88 million (compared to about OMR90 million the year before – a 3 per cent reduction). Over the last five years, PAEW has invested an average of over OMR95 million a year in its networks and our plans are to continue to invest strongly in the coming years as part of our target to improve the availability of piped water supplies across our service area.
This investment was spread broadly across the whole of the PAEW service area with the largest investment (41 per cent of the total) in Muscat Governorate – reflecting the large population of the area. A total of OMR57 million was invested in the densely-populated Muscat and North and South Al Batinah governorates – an increase of almost 20 per cent over last year.