TAQA, ENGIE and EWEC close financing for desalination plant
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TAQA, ENGIE and EWEC close $620m financing for desalination plant

TAQA, ENGIE and EWEC close $620m financing for desalination plant

The plant will desalinate seawater using low-carbon intensive reverse osmosis technology to produce water sufficient to meet the demand of up to 210,000 households

Gulf Business
TAQA, ENGIE & EWEC desalination plant.jpeg

TAQA, also known as Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, ENGIE and Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) have secured $620m (Dhs2.3bn) in funding for low carbon Mirfa 2 reverse osmosis (RO) desalination project in Abu Dhabi.

The desalination plant, which is expected to be operational in Q4 2025, is owned 60 per cent by TAQA while ENGIE has a 40 per cent shareholding. Both entities will take part in the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the plant with ENGIE taking a 60 per cent stake in the O&M company and TAQA taking a 40 per cent stake.

The Mirfa 2 reverse osmosis will produce 120 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of water once fully operational, equating to roughly 550,000 cubic metres per day of potable water.

EWEC will procure the water supplied from the plant for 30 years.

“TAQA is proud to invest in the development, ownership, and operation of this critical water project in Abu Dhabi, which will contribute to the UAE’s decarbonisation efforts as well as TAQA’s own emissions reductions targets,” said Farid Al Awlaqi, executive director of Generation, TAQA.

“In line with our ESG and growth strategies to expand investment in and deployment of high-efficiency RO technology to reach two-thirds of our capacity by 2030, Mirfa 2 RO also enables us to accelerate how we decouple power and water operations across our assets to further reduce our carbon impact.

TAQA drives sustainability

M2 RO will leverage highly efficient RO desalination, which is up to six times more efficient compared to traditional thermal desalination. The technology also enables plant operators to reduce carbon emissions by decoupling water and power generation processes, thus supporting the wider efforts of the energy sector to cut costs and achieve sustainability targets.

A project of the size and scale of M2 RO brings local economic benefits. The engineering procurement and construction contractors on the project will be local Abu Dhabi contractor Al Nasr Contracting Company alongside Société Internationale de Dessalement.

The project is further expected to position and supports the UAE’s advancement in more efficient water desalination capabilities, a very important skill as the world faces more threats of water scarcity from climate change. It will bring in-country value (ICV) and create jobs for the Mirfa area in the Al Dhafra region.

The project is funded (78 per cent) through debt financing from both local and international banks including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Norinchukin Bank, BNP Paribas and KfW IPEX-Bank.

TAQA, ENGIE & EWEC collaboration

Meanwhile, the financing deal follows the signing of a water purchase agreement between TAQA, ENGIE and EWEC in February.

M2 RO will desalinate seawater using low-carbon intensive RO technology to produce up to 120 MIGD of potable water sufficient to meet the water demand of up to 210,000 households in Abu Dhabi.

Low-carbon-intensive RO water desalination plants are up to 96 per cent more efficient compared to traditional thermal desalination plants and enable a more than 85 per cent reduction in carbon emissions associated with water production.

Read: UAE’s TAQA Group posts $3.2bn in Q1 net income

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