The Federal Electricity & Water Authority (Fewa) has extended the bid submission date for a planned 45 million-imperial-gallon-a-day (MIGD) desalination plant in the UAE’s Northern Emirates.

According to sources close to the project, the client has extended the bid submission date from 9 October to 14 December. MEED recently reported that the client was revising the tender for the planned project, which accounts for the extension of the bid submission date.

MEED reported in December that Fewa had issued tender documents for the main developer contract with an initial submission date in March. This was subsequently extended until 16 July, and now has been further extended from the latest bid date in October to December. According to sources close to the scheme, the tender is now being revised due to initial uncertainty over land issues, namely site location and the lease agreement for the proposed plant.

According to sources close to the scheme, these issues have been solved and the client is now proceeding with the environmental impact assessment (EIA), soil investigation and seawater analysis. The results and findings from these studies will be part of the addendum for the revised request for proposals (RFP).

There is still concern from bidders about the bankability of the project due to an absence of a Federal Government guarantee and other basic risk allocation provisions, according to a source close to the scheme.

MEED reported in March that Fewa has chosen a location in Umm al-Quwain for the proposed 45MIGD plant.

The project will be developed under the independent water project (IWP) model, under which Fewa will appoint a developer to form a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to enter into a long-term water purchase agreement (WPA) and a power supply agreement. Fewa will be the offtaker for all water produced from the facility. The desalination plant will use reverse osmosis (RO) technology.

MEED reported in early September 2016 that Fewa had prequalified 14 groups to participate in the tender for the planned desalination plant.

The 14 prequalified groups are believed to be:

  • Acciona (Spain)
  • Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia) / Tecton (UAE)
  • Abdul Latif Jameel (Saudi Arabia)
  • Aqualia (Spain) / CCC (Lebanon)
  • Beijing Enterprises (China)
  • GS Inima (Spain) / GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hyflux (Singapore)
  • JGC (Japan)
  • Malakoff (Malaysia) / Doosan (South Korea)
  • Metito (UAE) / Tedagua (Spain)
  • Sembcorp (Singapore) / Cadagua (Spain)
  • Suez Environnement (France) / Degremont (France)
  • Valoriza (Spain)
  • Veolia (France) / Marubeni (Japan)

Austria’s ILF Consulting Engineers was awarded the consultancy services deal for the IWP in January this year.

If successful, the project will be one of the first IWPs in the UAE, with Abu Dhabi’s public-private partnership (PPP) utility projects to date all being cogeneration facilities with power elements.