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Thu 25 Oct 2007 10:34 AM

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TAQA to make 'significant' Saudi investment

Abu Dhabi energy firm agrees with National Power to invest in power and water sector.

UAE-based Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) said on Wednesday it had agreed with Saudi Arabia's National Power to consider joint investments in the Saudi power and water industry.

Saudi Arabia's privately owned Al Zamil Group and El-Seif Group set up National Power after the desert kingdom opened its power and water industry to private investment.

National Power and US-based CMS Energy became, in 2005, the first venture to help develop a privately-owned power plant in the largest Arab economy.

Demand for power and water in Saudi Arabia is surging as the population increases and businesses grow. The government has failed to keep pace with demand, prompting it to turn to private companies for help.

The company is one of several that is bidding to build Saudi Arabia's third independent water and power project at Ras Al-Zour on the kingdom's Gulf coast, according to the website of the state-run Water & Electricity Company.

The plant will have power capacity of up to 1,100 megawatts and desalination capacity of one million cubic metres.

Taqa, whose $15.25 billion assets includes energy companies in Canada, the US and Australia, said the partners aim to make "significant" investments that might extend to other industrial projects.

Taqa did not give more details.

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