Umm al-Nar IWPP moves ahead

04 January 2002

Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) issued at the end of December the request for qualification to developers for the Umm al-Nar independent water and power project (IWPP - MEED 30:11:01).

Companies have been given until 18 January to submit their applications. Up to six developers are expected to be prequalified to bid on the project, which calls for the acquisition and expansion of the existing Umm al-Nar co-generation plant on a build-operate (BO) basis.

The project involves the installation of about 1,000 MW of new generating capacity, extensive decommissioning of existing assets at the site, and buying out the existing 70 million-gallon-a-day water generation capacity. There is the potential for further capacity at a later date (MEED 21:9:01).

In keeping with previous IWPPs, developers will submit proposals on the basis of taking a minority stake in a new utility company, which will acquire and expand the plant.

A single developer or consortium will own 40 per cent of the new utility company, to be registered in Abu Dhabi, and the remaining 60 per cent of equity will be held directly or indirectly by ADWEA.

The advisory team for the Umm al-Nar scheme is made up of Credit Suisse First Boston, Germany's Fichtnerand the US' White & Case (MEED 10:8:01).

In early October, ADWEA returned to its original plan to develop the existing Umm al-Nar power and desalination complex as the emirate's next IWPP, in preference to building a grassroots co-generation plant at Taweelah. The decision came as the result of ADWEA's desire to optimise the new desalination capacity installed at the site over the past two years (MEED 19:10:01).

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