A Utico plant. The company hopes to undertake a number of investment projects in the UAE to meet the needs of the growing population. Image Credit: Supplied

ABU DHABI: United Arab Emirates’ utility Utico Middle East has hired Emirates NBD Capital for a potential share sale and public listing, the company said on Tuesday.

Utico, the only privately-owned utility in the UAE, also said a trans-emirate water pipeline built at a cost of $100 million (Dh367 million) was now operational.

Demand for water and power in the UAE is expected to grow by 5 to 6 per cent annually in the next few years as the population grows and industrialisation spreads, according to estimates by state-owned utilities.

“We are looking at a public listing in the near future” said Richard Menezes, chief executive of Utico.

No further details about the listing or valuation were provided.

Utico’s water pipeline connects the northern emirates of Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Ajman and Umm al Quwain and has a peak carrying capacity of 50 million gallons per day.

Utico, which is among bidders for the Taweelah independent water project in Abu Dhabi, owns over 76 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of desalination capacity, including 40 MIGD under construction which is due for commissioning in early 2020.

The utility counts some Gulf sovereign funds among its investors and Spain’s Groupo Cobra partnered with the company for a $200 million independent water project in Ras al Khaimah. (Reuters)