Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) has taken further steps to avert an immediate water shortfall of about 100 million gallons a day (g/d) by awarding a second major desalination contract. The latest, placed with Italy’s Fisia Italimpianti, is worth an estimated $170 million and involves the addition of 22.5 million g/d of desalination capacity at the existing Mirfa power and desalination complex in western Abu Dhabi.

The order, calling for the installation of three 7.5 million-g/d units, came just a month after South Korea’s Hanjung confirmed that it had signed an estimated $500 million contract to supply and install 62.5 million g/d of new multi-stage flash (MSF) capacity at the Umm al-Nar desalination plant. Hanjung has been given just 12 months to complete the contract (MEED 1:9:00).

The two recent contracts underline the urgency to add new capacity, over and above what is already contracted by ADWEA under its independent water and power programme. Forecasts indicate that demand is expected to double over the next 10 years to an estimated 600 million g/d.

This year, peak demand is expected to reach 313 million g/d.