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Dewa selects Acwa Power to develop $914m water project

The water desalination capacity in Dubai will increase to 670 MIGD in 2026 with the completion of Hassyan project

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has selected Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund-backed Acwa Power as the preferred bidder for the construction and operation of the AED3.38 billion ($914 million) Hassyan phase one independent water producer (IWP) project.

The project is the largest of its kind in the world for water production-based sea water reverse osmosis technology using solar energy. 

The Dubai-listed utility provider achieved a record-low bid of $0.36536 cubic metres of desalinated water. 

The 180 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) sea water reverse osmosis project aligns with the Dubai 2040 urban master plan to address the significant population growth and meet the increasing demand for water in domestic, commercial and other consumer sectors.

The water desalination capacity in Dubai is currently at 490 MIGD and will increase to 670 MIGD in 2026 with the completion of the project.

Dewa received 29 expressions of interest from international developers for the desalination project. It issued the request for qualification (RFQ) on October 18, 2022, with six global companies qualifying for bid submission.

The company had received two bids from Acwa Power and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) on May 22, 2023.

“We have a clear direction for the energy sector in Dubai with a priority to use clean energy in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100 percent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050,” said Dewa CEO and managing director Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.

“We are building water production plants based on SWRO technology, which require less energy than multi-stage flash distillation plants, making it a more sustainable choice for water desalination.”

By 2030, Dewa aims to produce 100 percent of desalinated water by a mix of clean energy and waste heat, Al Tayer added.