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Abu Dhabi starts commercial operations at $1.5bn utility plant

ABU DHABI, November 15, 2017

Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) has started the commercial operations at its Dh5.4-billion ($1.46 billion) Mirfa independent water and power plant (IWPP) located about 110 km from the UAE capital in the Dhafra region.

The plant is the 10th facility to be built under the public-private partnership model in Abu Dhabi. The French utility company Engie holds a 20 per cent equity interest in the project while Adwea has 60 per cent and Abu Dhabi Financial Group the rest 20 per cent.

The plant, which boasts a power generation capacity of 1,600 MW and 238,665 cu m of water a day (52 million gallons of desalinated water), was inaugurated by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra region.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sheikh Hamdan said the UAE was implementing ambitious development projects to maintain its leading role as a world centre for research and development in energy and renewable energy.

With the launch of operations at the Mirfa IWPP, Abu Dhabi is now producing 960 million gallons of water and 16.922 MW electricity, he added.

Developed under a full turn-key engineering, procurement and commissioning contract (EPC), the project integrates the acquisition of an existing 22.5 million gallons (around 200,000 cu m) per day (MIGD) water production facilities and associated infrastructure along with the acquisition, refurbishment, erection and commissioning of four GE 9E gas turbines with a combined net capacity of 360 MW acquired from the Al Mirfa Power Company.

The project contract also covered the integration of a new 1,240 MW greenfield combined-cycle power generation plant and 114,000 cu m per day greenfield reverse osmosis desalination plant, it stated.

Additional 1,240 MW greenfield combined-cycle power generation plant, 30 MIGD greenfield reverse osmosis desalination plant and integration with the acquired assets were also delivered under the contract, said the statement from Engie.  

On the big project, Sebastien Arbola, the CEO of Engie (Middle East, South & Central Asia, and Turkey), said meeting the growing demand for electricity and water in the region, the Mirfa project is the sixth Engie development project in the UAE.

Following commissioning, the plant will supply power and water services under a 25-year power and water purchase agreement (PWPA) with Adwec as the single buyer.

Engie will also be responsible for the delivery of operations and maintenance of the main plant for a 25-year period, in addition to the O&M services provided to the other 5 Adwea power and water desalination plants in the UAE: Al Taweelah A1, Shuweihat S1 and S2, Umm Al Nar and Fujairah F2.

"Leveraging from our global expertise, we will continue to be a driver of smart energy solutions and are committed to working with our government and industry partners in the region to continue to meet their growing energy demands," he added.

Engie is a leading independent power and desalination water developer and producer in the GCC countries, with a total gross portfolio of 30,000 MW power and over 1200 MIGD desalination water production.

Adwea said the emirate's privatisation programme has attracted nearly Dh70 billion through the independent power producer (IPP) model.

The Abu Dhabi utility is currently executing Noor Abu Dhabi, the world's largest independent solar power plant to be built at a total cost of Dh3.2 billion.

Located in Suwaihan, 120 km south-east of Abu Dhabi, the plant will generate 1,177 MW from the second quarter of 2019.

On completion, it will have double the capacity of the 550-MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, the current world's largest solar power plant in California, US.

The plant is 60 per cent owned by Adwea and the government of Abu Dhabi, and 40 per cent by the international consortium.-TradeArabia NEws Service

Tags: abu dhabi | power | adwea | Water plant |

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