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Taqa and Engie to develop Mirfa 2 RO desalination project

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EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company), the UAE leader in hydropower planning, procurement and supply, has awarded its Mirfa 2 reverse osmosis (M2 RO) stand-alone water project deal.

The development of a low carbon intensive reverse osmosis desalination plant has been awarded to a consortium comprising Engie and Taqa.

Taqa will hold a majority stake in the project and participate in the operation and maintenance company. Following the award, Taqa, Engie and EWEC signed a Water Purchase Agreement (WPA) for the project.

Submitted proposals undergo a detailed technical and commercial evaluation process to select the best proposals prior to project award and WPA signature. The M2 RO project will be 60% owned by Taqa and the remaining 40% by Engie. The project is expected to achieve financial close in the first quarter of 2023, enabling initial water production in summer 2025 and full production in the third quarter of 2025.

Once fully operational, Mirfa 2 Reverse Osmosis will be the third-largest low-carbon-intensive RO plant in the UAE, a statement said.

M2 RO will use low-carbon intensive reverse osmosis technology to desalinate seawater and produce up to 120 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of potable water, equivalent to approximately 550,000 cubic meters per day, enough to feed as many as 210,000 households in China Water needs in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Compared to traditional thermal desalination plants, low-carbon intensive RO desalination plants can be up to 96% more efficient and reduce carbon emissions associated with water production by more than 85%.

Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC, said: “We look forward to this strategic partnership with TAQA and Engie, which will see the development of the third largest low-carbon intensive reverse osmosis desalination plant in the UAE. The development of the M2 RO desalination project enables EWEC to Further accelerating its strategic move to decouple desalination operations from power generation and implement tangible and effective actions that will contribute to the goals of the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 and the UAE 2050 Net Zero Strategic Initiative.

“Once operational, this project, together with our current and upcoming low-carbon intensive reverse osmosis desalination plant, will significantly enhance EWEC’s ability to manage and operate desalination and power generation more efficiently. Using advanced technology economics Modeling these sectors to strategically plan capacity needs, EWEC continues to invest heavily in the development of reverse osmosis projects, and by 2030 we expect more than 90% of our water production to be through reverse osmosis, resulting in total carbon emissions associated with water production from 14.6 million tons down to 2.1 million tons in 2020 and 2030, strengthening our position as a leader in advancing sustainable and safe water and power supplies in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE,” said Al Ali.

Farid Al Awlaqi, Executive Director, Power Generation, Taqa Group, commented: “As Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon power and water champion, Taqa is proud to be a major shareholder in the M2 RO project, which is critical to supporting the country’s decarbonization efforts and the UAE’s long-term Water security. As a company based on ESG principles, this project is in line with our recently announced ESG strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of this strategy, we are committed to expanding the use of highly Decoupling of production to reduce carbon emissions from desalination. The project also supports our growth target to produce more than two-thirds of our total water production using reverse osmosis technology by 2030. TAQA will also be involved in the plant’s operations and maintenance, which is a key pillar of our strategy.”

Frederic Claux, Managing Director, Thermal and Supply, Engie AMEA, said: “As a leader in desalination and specialists in reverse osmosis technology, we are delighted to add the M2 RO to our portfolio. This is a major win for our regional business and demonstrates The trust that government authorities and our partners place in us to support growing water demand while meeting the demands of a net zero carbon future.” – trade arab news agency

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