Iran opens for water business

British Water’s Lila Thompson.

British Water is building closer links with the water industry in Iran as the market opens up to foreign trade. The membership organisation, which represents the UK water industry, took part in the Iran International Water & Wastewater Exhibition in Tehran on 25-28 September.

The event was the first major industry event in the region since sanctions against Iran were lifted in January.

Lila Thompson, International Director of British Water said: “These are early days but there are some very exciting opportunities ahead. There was a real buzz at the event.

“British Water is always keen to explore new markets and there seems to be a real willingness in the Iranian industry to make new links with the UK now diplomatic relations have been restored.”

British Water highlighted the work of four UK companies at the event: pipeline infrastructure specialist Aquam; data and analytics company SEAMS; desalination and water recovery technology company Waterl’eau and Thermancy, manufacturer of the world’s first wireless thermodynamic pump monitor.

Lila Thompson said: “It is a great time for UK companies to make links with Iran. The country has a good range of technology companies and there is a lot of homegrown expertise. However there is a real desire to explore international best practice and products and services that might offer more efficient solutions.

“There are a variety of infrastructure projects coming up including desalination, dams and wastewater treatment plants. Iran, which is the second biggest economy in the Middle East, is also keen to attract investment from abroad.”

According to the UK Government Department for International Trade, Iran needs more than a trillion dollars of investment in infrastructure over the next ten years and is keen to attract foreign expertise and investment. Trade with European countries is expected to quadruple in the next two years.

The event attracted exhibitors and guests from India and China and a huge contingent from Germany. British Water will be holding regular talks with the Iranian Association of Water and Wastewater Engineers aimed at making links between the two countries’ water industries.