Deal signed to build giant desalination plant in the UAE

Emirates Water and Electricity Company inks a water purchase agreement with Saudi-based ACWA Power for Taweelah project
Deal signed to build giant desalination plant in the UAE
Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC.
By Sam Bridge
Wed 11 Sep 2019 02:32 PM

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), on Wednesday said it has signed a water purchase agreement with Saudi-based ACWA Power.

The deal will enable the development of over 900,000 cubic metres per day desalination facility in Taweelah, sufficient to meet the demand of water for over 350,000 households.

Approximately 45km north of Abu Dhabi city, the project will use reverse osmosis technology to desalinate seawater and will be one of the largest plants in the world.

A statement said the new Taweelah reverse osmosis desalination plant sets new benchmarks for its size, efficiency and cost of water produced. 

Supplying 909,200 cubic metres per day, it will be 44 percent larger than the world’s current largest reverse osmosis plant while the contribution from around 50MW of onsite solar generation will further boost the plants green credentials.

Once completed, the Taweelah plant will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, significantly reducing gas consumption by decoupling power and water production for the winter and summer seasons.

Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC, said: “We are delighted to launch this new initiative, which will help meet future water demand for the UAE. The choice of Reverse Osmosis sea water desalination technology will play a critical part in significantly reducing water production costs, contributing to our goals to build a more sustainable and efficient water and energy sector in the UAE.”

The plant will be developed on a build, own and operate basis with the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the water plant undertaken by a joint venture of ABENGOA and PowerChina.

ACWA Power owns a 40 percent stake in the project company formed to be responsible for the plant, with the remaining 60 percent stake owned by Mubadala Investments Company and Abu Dhabi Power Corporation.

Once the project is complete, EWEC will be the off-taker for the water output produced by the project over a 30-year period. The plant is scheduled to commence full commercial operations in late 2022.

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