Sligo company Jennings O’Donovan & Partners announces €2.8m deal on Middle East Trade Mission

Minister O’Sullivan Leads Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission of 45 Companies to the Middle East

Sligo-headquartered company Jennings O’Donovan & Partners today (Wednesday, 19th October 2011) announced that it has secured a contract of €2.8m as Primary Infrastructure Designers to the Diyar Al Muharraq Development in the Gulf.  

Pictured at the announcement are (L-R) are: David Kiely, Jennings O’Donovan, Minister for Trade and Development Jan O’Sullivan TD, Vivion Archbold, Jennings O’Donovan and Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland

Pictured at the announcement are (L-R) are: David Kiely, Jennings O’Donovan, Minister for Trade and Development Jan O’Sullivan TD, Vivion Archbold, Jennings O’Donovan and Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland

The announcement was made during this week’s Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Saudi Arabia and Qatar led by the Minister for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, TD.

Jennings O’Donovan & Partners is an Irish firm of consulting civil and environmental engineers who have carried out work in Ireland, the Middle East and Eastern Europe throughout its 60-year existence. It employs 45 people in Sligo and another 22 through its offices in Bahrain, Riyadh and Bucharest.   The company’s specialist skills are in the Cleantech sector specifically in the project management and design of water supply, waste water, environmental, renewable energy and aquaculture projects.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister O'Sullivan described the deal as ‘a significant contract win for an ambitious outward-focused Irish firm.  The Saudi Arabian construction market is the largest sector in the Middle East-North African region with projects worth over $215 billion under way this year.  It offers tremendous potential for Irish companies.  Jennings O’Donovan has shows just what can be achieved with their commitment to a global operation providing the highest standards of excellence both in products and services’.

Located on the northern shores of Muharraq, the DIYAR AL MUHARRAQ project will provide a cohesive mix of residential and commercial properties with housing opportunities for over 100,000 people in around 30,000 housing units. The boundaries cover an area of 12 square kilometers. The project’s anticipated total investment value is BHD1.2 billion (US$ 3.2 billion) with Kuwait Finance House as the major investor. By being the first development with a dedicated focus on providing a variety of housing options, it will open up new and exciting real estate ownership opportunities across all groups of society in Bahrain.

DIYAR AL MUHARRAQ is being built to extremely high specifications and as such, the standard of infrastructure will be first class. Jennings O’Donovan & Partners will be key to the delivery of such infrastructure through their role for the design and supervision of the main arteries through the site including highways, bridges, water supply, waste water, storm water, irrigation, electricity and telecommunications.

Jennings O’Donovan’s Bahrain office was set up in 2009. As an Enterprise Ireland client, Jennings O’Donovan & Partners visited Saudi Arabia in May 2010 on a Market Study Visit and during November 2010 on a Trade Mission. This has resulted in the establishment, this year, of an office in Riyadh. During recent months, six of the company’s Irish staff have relocated to the Middle East while several others in the Sligo office are engaged on projects in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

David Kiely, Director of Jennings O’Donovan & Partners said:

‘Jennings O’Donovan & Partners have worked in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Jordan over many years. However, it was largely on a project by project basis. Four years ago, faced with the increasing challenges in the Irish economy, we put a strategy in place for international growth and developed an office in Romania. This later followed with an assessment of opportunity in the Middle East and the initial steps into Bahrain. Through the Enterprise Ireland Leadership for Growth programme, we reassessed and fine tuned our strategy which culminated in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia being our primary markets in the Middle East. Through our presence on the ground, our local partners and much patience, we have been awarded an extremely prestigious project which is of huge importance to our firm.  It is crucial for us to deliver on this project so as to firmly establish our reputation in the Middle East’.

Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland added:

‘The Gulf region is a key growth market for Irish exports.  Contracts such as this one secured by Jennings O’Donovan & Partners are hard won and demonstrate the world-class standard of Irish service providers. Jennings O’Donovan & Partners is a prime example of what Irish companies can achieve globally through vision, leadership and persistence.  As a company, they embody all of the ingredients essential to winning business in challenging export markets.  We look forward to continuing to support Jennings O’Donovan & Partners grow their international business’.

The trade mission with 45 companies to Saudi Arabia and Qatar is aimed at building business linkages, securing lucrative contracts and creating jobs at home. The 45 companies on the mission span a wide range of sectors including telecoms and software, financial services, education, engineering and construction services, healthcare and aviation.  Enterprise Ireland is working with them in the region to strengthen their business links in the Gulf States, develop strategic partnerships and win new business contracts.  Many already have a strong presence in these markets and this mission is an opportunity for participating companies to build relationships with existing and potential customers.



Founded in 1950, with its head office in Ireland and branch offices in Bahrain, Riyadh and in Romania, Jennings O'Donovan & Partners is an Irish owned consulting engineering company of highly qualified people with a long history of working abroad in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.  The company is particularly active in the Cleantech Environmental Goods and Services Sector. Its specialist areas of expertise are in the fields of water supply, waste water, infrastructure, environmental engineering, the sustainable built environment and renewable energy.

In Ireland, wind energy projects, water supply, sewerage and environmental projects are the main activities. Recently completed wind farms include Corkermore, and Drumlough Hill Extension, both in County Donegal; Screggagh, County Tyrone; and Tullynamoyle in County Leitrim. Recently completed water supply projects include Cavan Regional Water Supply Scheme and South Roscommon Regional Water Supply Scheme while recently completed sewerage projects include Sligo Waste Water Treatment Works and Donegal Town Main Drainage and Treatment Works.

Jennings O'Donovan commenced their overseas work during the 1970s on the design and preparation of water and wastewater schemes in Iraq at Amara, Kerbala, Najaf Kufa, Kirkuk, Diwaniyah and Hilla.

During the Iran – Iraq war, the focus shifted to Syria for projects at Sweida, Deir-ez Zor, Hama, Bseira and Shahba. This was followed by work in Libya, Jordan and in Bulgaria and other parts of Eastern Europe.

Jennings O’Donovan & Partners have, earlier this month, won the CPD Company of the Year Award in the category for companies with up to 75 staff. This is a most prestigious award presented by Engineers Ireland in recognition of the use of continuing professional development to achieve the goals of the company as set out in its mission statement and strategy to drive a very ambitious new plan to scale for international growth.

For further information contact:

Jennings O’Donovan & Partners: David Kiely on 00353 86 1704280 or


Enterprise Ireland Press Office on +353 1 7272295