Water Technology

Metito takes on 22-month challenge

The Al Mahsamma plant was inaugurated last year.

Following its success on the Al Mahsamma plant – which was inaugurated last year – and other projects, Metito’s services have been enlisted by Egypt for yet another mega development which is slated to be the world’s largest agricultural drainage treatment, recycling and reuse plant.

Earlier this year, El-Hammam agricultural wastewater treatment plant was awarded to a joint venture (JV) led by Metito and including Hassan Allam, The Arab Contractors, and Orascom Construction.

“Scheduled to be operational by 2023, the plant will have a capacity of 7.5 million cu m per day, making it the largest plant of its type in the world,” Karim Madwar – Metito Managing Director, Africa, tells Gulf Construction.

“This plant uses agricultural drainage water from the northwest of the Nile Delta which has been collected and transported to the plant through a 120-km-long course. The treated water is then used to irrigate approximately 515,000 acres west of the Nile Delta,” he explains.

El-Hammam plant is an integral part of the Egyptian government’s strategic plans to expand the country’s agricultural area and to develop the Western Desert region. The plant will contribute to the creation of sustainable communities and new job opportunities, among other positive social and economic impacts.

Elaborating on the aim of the project, Madwar says: “Egypt has an ever-growing demand for water due to the rapidly expanding population, growing economic activities and urbanisation. In line with Egypt Vision 2030 and the sustainable development plan, the government has introduced a progressive, multi-pronged strategy to safeguard and preserve the nation’s natural resources through a comprehensive water security agenda focusing on desalination, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse.

“The rising water demand in Egypt is largely due to agricultural applications which account for almost 70 per cent of the total water consumption. To address this and to ensure a more sustainable solution is utilised to reuse the water consumed in such applications, Egypt has embarked on a strategic journey to develop mega recycling and reuse projects aimed at utilising agricultural drainage. El Hammam is one of such iconic projects that is both an industry-first and an Egyptian milestone.”



Metito is a global leader and provider of choice for total intelligent water management solutions. With over 60 years of experience, and an iconic portfolio of projects across Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, Metito will share its extensive knowledge, latest technologies and local knowhow to develop this project alongside its JV partners. 

As the leading technical partner in the joint venture, Metito’s scope of work involves the design, supply, construction, and operation and maintenance (O&M) of the project for five years. Metito will allocate over 500 designers, engineers, operators, and technicians to conduct process design and engineering. In addition, the company will conduct procurement and installation of electromechanical equipment, sizing and selection, installation, testing and commissioning of the imported equipment and local electromechanical items and coordinate with the civil works partners to ensure all works have been designed and executed according to the process design requirements.

Metito is continuously working closely with the Egyptian government to develop and implement strategic water projects such as the one million cu m per day Al Mahsamma agricultural drainage treatment recycle and reuse plant, and more than 0.5 million cu m per day of sea water desalination projects in Al Galala, Port Said, Al-Arish, Al-Tor and Sharm El Sheikh, he adds.



Highlighting the challenges of the El-Hammam project, Madwar says: “Three key technical challenges had to be addressed during the planning stage of this project. Firstly, given the capacity of the plant, there is a need for larger-than-standard-sized equipment and it was, therefore, decided to tailor-make customised equipment for the project.

“Secondly, the agricultural drainage water has a high salinity level of 2,000 mg/l which requires special pre-treatment and mixing with normal irrigation water to get the quality of treated water suitable for irrigation purposes. This makes the treatment process more demanding in terms of design and construction of the treatment process and needed equipment.

“Thirdly, the project time schedule is 22 months which is considered fast track for a project of such scale and magnitude.”

“Metito is honoured to play an active role in the development of this mega project which will have a myriad of positive impacts,” he concludes.