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Acwa Power, Mubadala ink UAQ desalination plant agreement

ABU DHABI, July 9, 2019

Saudi-based Acwa Power, a global leader in water desalination and power generation, said its consortium with MDC Power Holding Company, an entity fully owned by Mubadala Investment Company, has entered into a water purchase agreement with Federal Electricity & Water Authority (Fewa) for a 150-million-gallons-per-day desalination plant to be located in the northern emirate of Umm Al Quwain.

Under the terms of the agreement, Fewa will hold 20 per cent of the stake, while Acwa Power and Mubadala will each own 40 per cent of the plant, which will utilise seawater reverse osmosis technology.

The government of Umm Al Quwain will join as a partner in the project and will own a stake at a later date, said a statement from Acwa Power.

Once commissioned, the Umm Al Quwain plant will be the largest desalination project in the Northern Emirates. The project cost is deemed as highly competitive and will utilise state of the art technology allowing it to efficiently produce water while preserving the environment.

Construction is expected to commence in the second half of 2019, with initial water production scheduled in 2021, said the statement.

The project is part of the UAE’s effort to optimise water production and meet the increasing demand for water in the country, it added.

Announcing the project, UAQ Crown Prince Sheikh Rashid bin Saud Al Mualla said: "The crucial and strategic project in the emirate is an important milestone in the series of development projects in the UAE, as it enhances the partnership between the public and private sectors and reflects positivity on the overall national economy; the project is also strategically located between Ajman, UAQ and Ras Al Khaimah."

UAE Minister of Energy and Industry and Fewa chairman Engineer Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei said: "This project is Fewa’s first asset in partnership with the private sector. Its implementation will reinforce UAE’s Water Security Strategy 2036 as well as bolster its core programmes."

"The plant is set to supply 150 million imperial gallons per day to the Northern Emirates and will prompt the private sector to further invest in those areas," he added.

Fewa director General Mohammad Mohammad Saleh said it would be Fewa’s first IWP project to be held in the Northern Emirates, which will help in utilising an efficient water generation system to meet and secure the demands of both residential and agriculture sectors with competitive economical prices.

"Fewa will continue to achieve its ambitious vision of meeting the growing water demands in the Northern Emirates by improving and investing in its water facilities infrastructure and seeking to adapt new technologies to enhance sustainable developments," he stated.

The Fewa was established to cater the needs of the Northern Emirates population by providing world-class utility services, improve the standards of living and achieve sustainable growth by 2021.

It seeks to meet its mission by developing the necessary infrastructure, to fulfil the growing demand in the emirates under the Authority’s jurisdiction and to rationalize the usage of electricity and water to promote sustainable development. ​

Acwa Power president and CEO Paddy Padmanathan said: "We made the strategic decision to expand our footprint in the UAE through investing in the Umm Al Quwain SWRO and increasing our contribution to the safe and reliable delivery of water."

"It is an honour to have been chosen by Fewa, and we are confident that a project of this scale will go a long way in allowing Fewa to grow its capacity to a point where it can deliver a sustainable supply of water," he added.

Chief investment officer Rajit Nanda said: "Acwa Power's agreement with Fewa is a strong indicator of how the company has developed a stronghold in the UAE. Setting up the first IPP infrastructure in the emirate, while simultaneously expanding our portfolio of projects is a major milestone for us. We look forward to capitalising on this opportunity and supporting the envisioned growth for the country."

Mubadala's director of utilities Mohammed Al Huraimel Al Shamsi said: "We are pleased to partner with Fewa and Acwa Power on this strategic development. The project is in line with our leadership’s vision of developing a sustainable more efficient water infrastructure that can cater for the growing demand whilst preserving natural resources in the country."

"Mubadala looks forward to continue working with our partners to bring the project to completion and support Fewa in its objective of securing water in the most efficient manner," he added.-TradeArabia News Service


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