Abu Dhabi announces sixth IWPP

1 April 2005 - The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) has initiated the process to develop its sixth independent water and power project, the takeover and expansion of the Qidfa, Fujairah plant.

"Following the Executive Council resolution, ADWEA has taken over the Union Water and Electricity Company [UWEC] that built the power and water desalination plant in Qidfa, Fujairah. ADWEA will take over and expand the plant," a senior ADWEA official told Gulf News.

"The acquisition and expansion will follow the same model of ADWEA's previous IWPPs where a foreign developer will be involved. The Request for Proposals will go out in a few months and advisors for the project will be shortly appointed."

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council had earlier directed to issue Resolution No 19 of session 4/2005 to transfer the ownership of UWEC to ADWEA. Thereafter a new board was constituted for UWEC.

UWEC's plant in Qidfa commissioned in early 2004 has power generation capacity of 656 MW and 455 million litres per day (mgpd) of water. ADWEA is currently finalising the expansion capacity of the plant. "We are yet to decide on the exact additional capacity, a decision that the board will finalise," said an ADWEA official.

Like the other IWPPs, the foreign developer will acquire a 40 per cent stake in the project company with ADWEA taking the remainder. UWEC will continue to play a vital role in meeting the rising demand for power and water in the northern emirates and Abu Dhabi.

"UWEC will also play a major role in the planned Emirates National Grid and could become a net exporter of power to neighbouring countries through individual agreements and the planned GCC power grid."

The Qidfa project transports desalinated water to Sweihan in Abu Dhabi through a 179-km dual pipeline that also has an 18-km spur to Al Dhaid in Sharjah. Of the 656 MW power produced, some 120 MW is used to run the desalination unit and 36 MW for the transmission system.

The remaining 500 MW is supplied to the northern emirates where demand is rising between 10-12 per cent per annum, through a 400 kV transmission line from Fujairah to Al Dhaid., all of which have been linked with distribution networks through 132/11 kV main switches.

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