ACWA Power, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, and Emirates Water & Electricity Company (EWEC) have signed a water purchase agreement worth $890 million, reports MEP Middle East.
The arrangement encompasses the development of a reverse osmosis sea water desalination plant in Taweelah, 45 kilometres north of Abu Dhabi. The facility will process up to 900,000 cubic metres of water per day and serve 350,000 homes.
The statement also revealed that the plant will be 44 per cent bigger than the world’s current largest reverse osmosis facility, and will “set new benchmarks” for its performance and cost of water produced.
"We are delighted to launch this new initiative, which will help meet future water demand for the UAE,” said Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC.
“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 project will also help save material fuel costs across the sector, given the flexibility that the technology provides," he added.
President and CEO of ACWA Power, Paddy Padmanathan, said: "Our decision to bid for the Taweelah RO plant project demonstrates our confidence in EWEC as a reliable partner and confirms our commitment to contribute to the development of the United Arab Emirates by increasing our participation in the power generation and water desalination sectors.
“Through the Taweelah RO plant project and the enabling environment provided by Abu Dhabi, we are proud to be setting new global bench marks in both the cost of desalinated water and the energy consumed in producing that water."
According to MEP Middle East, a joint venture of Abengoa and PowerChina will undertake the build-own-operate contract of the facility.
EWEC is to be the off-taker for the water produced by the project for a period of 30 years, once the facility is completed.
ACWA Power owns a 40% stake in the project company formed to be responsible for the plant, with the remaining 60% stake owned by Mubadala Investments Company and Abu Dhabi Power Corporation.
The reverse osmosis sea water desalination plant is scheduled to be operational by late 2022.