California-based Cadiz Inc., a water development and agricultural resources company, announced that Bruce Babbitt, former United States secretary of the interior in the Clinton administration and former governor of Arizona, has joined Cadiz to build a new subsidiary company. Babbitt will serve as the subsidiary's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).
The new company will provide an array of business solutions to the significant water problems facing the Middle East. Through this new venture, Cadiz intends to build a diversified water business through both direct investment and the provision of economic, technical and management services.
The international unit will target opportunities in the Middle East because of the region's growing need for managed water resources, sound environmental planning, effective conservation of water resources and the growing need for renewable water resources proportionate to the growing population and the burgeoning agricultural system.
Cadiz Chairman and CEO Keith Brackpool said "Bruce Babbitt's extensive environmental experience and keen understanding of political sensitivities associated with natural resource projects will be vital to our strategic initiatives in the Middle East. We are honored Bruce chose to join Cadiz in building this exciting new international business."
"The Middle East is an arid environment, very similar to parts of California, with significant water and agricultural needs that Cadiz, through its work in the Western United States, is well positioned to address," said. Babbitt. "We will bring to the international arena an acute awareness and expertise in balancing environmental challenges with the need for long-term solutions in water resource management."
In 1999, Cadiz, through its subsidiary Sun World International, Inc., was appointed by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud's Kingdom Agricultural Development Company (KADCO) to develop and manage one of the world's largest planned agricultural and water developments located in southern Egypt, known as the Tushka Project.
The Tushka Project site is part of the South Valley Project that includes construction of a 43-mile canal diverting water from Lake Nassar, the reservoir formed on the Nile River by the Aswan High Dam, to four separate parcels of land. The Egyptian government ultimately plans to irrigate more than 500,000 acres of desert land to foster urban and agricultural development.
On January 16, 2002, Cadiz announced that it signed a letter of agreement in principle with KADCO to merge its business with Sun World. Cadiz would continue to own 50.25 percent of the combined entity and KADCO would have a 49.75 percent interest.
Founded in 1983, Cadiz is a publicly held water development and agricultural resources company. With its subsidiary, Sun World, Cadiz is one of the largest vertically integrated agricultural companies in California. The company owns significant landholdings with substantial water resources throughout California. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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