Taweelah RO plant takes shape

22 March 2002

Plans to establish Abu Dhabi's first independent water project (IWP) are taking shape with international companies preparing to submit proposals by late May for the Taweelah reverse osmosis (RO) project. The IWP is expected to be structured along the same lines as the emirate's independent water and power projects (IWPPs), with the selected partner taking a 40 per cent stake in a new utility company, which will build, own and operate the planned facility. Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) is undertaking the project to meet rising water demand in the emirate.

International groups understood to be preparing bids for the 50 million-gallon-a-day (g/d) IWP include consortia headed by France's Suez Lyonnaise des Eauxand Japan's Mitsui & Company. Prospective bidders are due to be given in April more detailed technical information about the project.

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 often 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 on the Umm al-Nar IWPP. The client is due to receive on 25 March formal prequalification applications from developers seeking to bid the project. The request for proposals (RFP) is due to be issued in mid April. The Umm al-Nar project involves acquiring 70 million g/d of recently built capacity and adding up to 1,500 MW and possibly 25 million g/d of new desalination capacity.

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