Three groups of companies, led by developers, are now expected to submit proposals for the landmark project. They are France’s Ondeo Services, Japan’s Mitsui & Companywith France’s Vivendi Water, and Cadaguaof Spain.

As with ADWEA’s independent water and power projects (IWPPs), bidders for the RO scheme are preparing their proposals on the basis of taking a 40 per cent stake in a new project company, which will build, own and operate the facility.

The proposed plant will run on power supplied by existing capacity at the Taweelah complex. The RO plant will take advantage of spare power-generating capacity in the winter months, when demand can be as low as 35 per cent of the peak summer demand. The water is expected to be used to meet agricultural demand in the Al-Ain area.

The UK’s Mott MacDonaldis technical adviser to ADWEA.

ADWEA’s other main focus is the Umm al-Nar IWPP. Developers are preparing to submit proposals by 22 September for the project, which involves the acquisition of 70 million g/d of recently built desalination capacity and the installation of 1,500 MW of power and up to 25 million g/d of desalination.