Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Abu Dhabi starts commercial operations at $1.5bn utility plant

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 located about 110km from the UAE capital in the Dhafra Region.

The plant, which boasts a power generation capacity of 1,600 megawatts (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, reported state news agency Wam.

The IWPP project involves the acquisition of certain existing water and power facilities; the development, design, engineering and construction of new power and water facilities; as well as the operation of the plant, said the report.

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.

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 the remaining stake is with Adwea, said the Wam report.

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.

Adwea said the emirate's privatisation programme has attracted nearly Dh70 billion through the Independent Power Producer 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, 120km south-east of Abu Dhabi, the plant will generate 1,177  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.

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