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Taqa secures funding for $444m desalination project

Abu Dhabi's Taqa will lead the operation and maintenance of Saudi Arabia's Juranah water reservoir project in Makkah Wam
Abu Dhabi's Taqa will lead the operation and maintenance of Saudi Arabia's Juranah water reservoir project in Makkah

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) has secured finance for its AED1.6 billion ($444 million) low-carbon intensive Shuweihat 4 reverse osmosis seawater desalination project (S4 RO).

The project was developed by Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) and Spain’s GS Inima, and is funded (71 percent) through debt financing from both local and international banks, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported.

The banks involved include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH and The Export-Import Bank of Korea. 

The financial closure comes after Taqa and GS Inima signed the water purchase agreement with EWEC in August.

S4 RO is Taqa’s second utility-scale reverse osmosis plant to reach financial close this year and the second major reverse osmosis project awarded by EWEC this year, following the Mirfa 2 reverse osmosis seawater desalination project in the first half of 2023.

Located within the Shuweihat power and water complex, S4 RO will supply up to 70 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of potable water, equivalent to 320,000 cubic metres per day. 

Commercial operations are expected to commence in Q2 2026, with EWEC procuring water supply for 30 years.

The S4 RO project is 60 percent owned by Taqa and 40 percent by GS Inima.  

Taqa’s water generation capacity will be over 1,250 MIGD, said company executive director Farid Al Awlaqi.

“Additionally, RO plants play a key role in supporting our 2030 ESG targets, with the decoupling of power and water production allowing us to significantly reduce the overall carbon footprint of our water generation operations,” he added.

“Over 90 percent of our water production capacity will be from RO technology by 2030, resulting in a 492 percent increase in our RO capacity compared to 2020 and significantly reducing carbon emissions,” said Othman Al Ali, chief executive of EWEC.

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