Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) and ACWA Power, the leading Saudi-based developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants, have confirmed the successful financial closing of the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant.
Ewec is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower) and a leading company in the integrated co-ordination of planning, purchasing and supply of water and electricity across the UAE.
The new plant, which will be located at the Taweelah power and water desalination complex in Abu Dhabi, is likely to be completed in 2022.
A joint venture between ADPower and Mubadala Investment Company holds a 60% equity interest in the Taweelah project, while the remaining 40% is held by Acwa Power.
The funding for the project is sourced from a combination of senior project finance loans worth a total of Dh2.71 billion, in addition to equity contributions from shareholders and operating cashflow from pre-operations.
The Taweelah plant’s loan structure is a “Soft Mini Perm”, with an expected refinancing period of a maximum three years starting after the commencement of the Taweelah project’s commercial operations.
Loans (including conventional and Islamic tranches) have been arranged by a group of local and international banks including: Emirates NBD, Natixis, Mizuho Bank, Siemens Bank, Bank Boubyan and The Norinchukin Bank. Natixis is the Agent Bank.
Ewec CEO Othman Al Ali said: "We are delighted to announce that our financial targets have been met and that this new initiative can now get underway."
"This financial structure is testament to the world-class quality of the plant, which will pave the way for future developments that will contribute to a more efficient and sustainable water and energy sector in the country," he noted.
"This reverse osmosis desalination plant supports the UAE’s vision in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, while significantly reducing gas consumption by decoupling power and water production for the winter and summer seasons," he added.
Acwa Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said: "Achieving such a strategic milestone at this stage in our relationship with Ewec is a sure indicator of the type of success we can expect from this project."
"The financial closing of the Al Taweelah plant with renowned institutions was made possible by our cooperation, the scale and impact of this project and the future growth and development we anticipate in the UAE. We are truly delighted to play a role in the Independent Water Producers program (IWP) launched by EWEC helping secure the water needs for its communities," he added.
According to him, the Taweelah plant will set new benchmarks for its size, efficiency and cost of water produced.
Supplying 909,200 cu m per day, it will be 44% larger than the world’s current largest reverse osmosis plant of 624,000 m3/day.
The desalination facility is sufficient to meet the water demand for over 350,000 households. A major driver for the adoption of reverse osmosis instead of thermal desalination is the higher energy efficiency it offers, he added.-TradeArabia News Service