Fichtner starts work on expansion of Mirfa plant

21 March 2003
Germany's Fichtnerhas been appointed technical consultant for the expansion of the Mirfa power and desalination complex in the western region and has begun preparing the concept designs for the project. Legal and financial advisers will be appointed at a later date, once the decision has been taken by Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) whether to proceed with the scheme as an independent water and power project (IWPP - MEED 12:7:02).

Mirfa would be ADWEA's fifth IWPP. However, given that the fourth - the Umm al-Nar IWPP - attracted bids from only two international developers as a result of the downturn in the global energy industry, ADWEA has not ruled out the possibility of proceeding with Mirfa on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.

The project is expected to go for bid in the autumn. The original terms of reference for the expansion envisaged the expanded Mirfa station having total capacity of 1,500 MW and 100 million gallons a day (g/d). However, there is a possibility that the expansion will be reduced in size to about 700 MW of new generating capacity.

The original Mirfa plant was commissioned in 1995/96 and has four 48-MW gas turbines and three 5.4 million-g/d desalination units. In 2000, Italy's Fisia Italimpiantiwas awarded a $179 million contract to install a further 22.5 million g/d of desalination capacity at the site (MEED 29:9:00).

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