Taqa to build desalination plant in Ajman
Abu Dhabi, February 4, 2014
Abu Dhabi National Energy Compay (Taqa) plans to build a water desalination plant in Ajman to meet rising demand in the UAE, the state-owned utility said on Tuesday.
Taqa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Federal Electricity & Water Authority (FEWA) to develop the standalone seawater desalination plant in Al Zawra in the Emirate of Ajman.
The agreement was signed in Abu Dhabi by Mohammed Mohammed Saleh, director general of FEWA and Carl Sheldon, CEO of Taqa.
The Al Zawra independent water project (IWP) will have a capacity of 30 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD), enough to supply 250,000 people in the Northern Emirates with clean drinking water.
Hamad Al-Hurr Al-Suwaidi, chairman of TAQA, said: “At a time of strong demographic and economic growth across the UAE, and particularly in the Northern Emirates, this project will ensure that sufficient water infrastructure is in place to meet increasing demand.”
"The Northern Emirates are developing at an increasing pace and the demand for water will continue to grow. FEWA has allocated significant funds for developing water and electricity projects there, over the coming three years. Al Zawra is a crucial element in that strategy,” said Saleh.
The Ajman facility will use the reverse osmosis process, where salt and impurities are removed from the water by pushing it through a semi-permeable membrane.
Unlike most of the UAE’s existing desalination capacity, which is based on thermal technologies and tied to power plants, reverse osmosis plants run on electricity. This means they can be run more efficiently and located close to consumption areas, enhancing the security of water supply.
According to the development plan, the project would be owned by FEWA and TAQA, underpinned by a long-term water purchase agreement with FEWA and funded with project finance. Construction is expected to start in early 2015 and the plant would begin commercial operations in 2017.
Last month a Taqa executive told Reuters that the company planned to grow its water business via new projects and acquisitions across the Mena region, as well as in India. – TradeArabia News Service & Reuters