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World’s largest desalination plant in the UAE secures $758 mn loan

UAE desalination project
Operations at the project are expected to begin in 2022

A UAE government-owned desalination project has secured a loan certificate of $758 million with a 32.4 year tenor.

The project is expected to be completed in 2022. Once operational, it will be the largest desalination plant not only in the UAE but in the world.

The funds will be used to designing, development, operation and maintenance of the 200 million imperial gallons per day desalination plant and associated infrastructure and facilities.

To be developed at the existing Taweelah complex, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE, it also includes a 68 MW peak photovoltaic power plant to complement the energy supply from the procurer’s grid.

The project, which is called the Taweelah Independent Water Project, is 40 percent co-owned by Saudi-based ACWA Power.

Vigeo Eiris, which provided an independent second party opinion on the sustainability credentials and management of this project finance loan said in a statement, “Taweelah Independent Water Project (IWP) project includes a state-of-the-art desalination plant, including modern and energy-efficient technologies for water production (seawater reverse osmosis), higher standards and monitoring of its effluents’ water quality”.

“The technology employed is considered by the World Bank as the most energy-efficient and best-in-class among existing desalination technology. The new desalination plant will significantly increase – almost doubling – the volume of water supply available to the local water network and population, aligned with the projected doubling of local water demand by 2050”.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be around AED3.19 billion. Renewable energy is expected to account for at least 30 percent of the project’s electricity capacity in the next 10 years. The target is to raise it to 55 percent by the end of the first quarter-life of the project.

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