The Federal Electricity & Water Authority (Fewa) is targeting to award and sign the final contracts for its planned 45 million imperial gallon a day (MIGD) desalination plant in April 2018.

According to Fewa, the final project offers are due to be submitted in December 2017, with the preferred bidder to be selected in early 2018 before the signing of the final project agreements with the selected developer in April. The project, which has an estimated total cost of AED1bn ($272m), will be developed under an independent water producer (IWP) model.

MEED recently reported that the client had extended the bid submission date from 9 October to 14 December.

According to a statement issued to MEED from Fewa, the project is “proceeding as per the revised plans and there are no obstacles delaying the project.”

Fewa said that, on June 11, it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Umm al-Quwain executive council for the land leasing agreement for the plant, and that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) has started.

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)

According to Fewa, 12 firms have purchased tender documents to participate in the bidding process.

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.