Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), together with Engie, a global leader in low-carbon energy solutions, and the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) have announced the successful financial close of the AED 2.3 billion (US$ 620 million) low-carbon Mirfa project 2 RO ( M2 RO) desalination project.
The third largest RO desalination plant in the UAE, M2 RO will produce 120 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of water when fully operational, equivalent to approximately 550,000 cubic meters of potable water per day.
Expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2025, the plant will be 60% owned by Taqa Holdings, with Engie holding the remaining 40%.
The two companies will also undertake the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the plant, with Engie holding 60% of O&M and Taqa 40%. Ewec will purchase water supply from the plant for 30 years.
The project is primarily financed (78%) by debt financing from local and international banks, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Norrinchukin Bank, France Bank of Paris (BNPP) and KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH. This follows Taqa and Engie’s water purchase agreement with Ewec in February this year.
Taqa Executive Director (Generation) Farid Al Awlaqi said: “We are proud to invest in the development, ownership and operation of this important water project in Abu Dhabi, which will contribute to the UAE’s decarbonization efforts as well as Taqa’s own emission reduction targets”
“In line with our ESG and growth strategy of expanding investment and deployment of highly efficient RO technology to two-thirds of our capacity by 2030, Mirfa 2 RO also enables us to accelerate how we convert power and water from our assets business separation to further reduce our carbon impact. Crucially, this project also sees Taqa continue to expand its O&M capabilities, which is a core part of our 2030 strategic growth ambitions,” said Al Awlaqi.
“In the ‘Year of Sustainability’ and COP28, it is important that we showcase world-class projects like this one that embody sustainability and also contribute to water security, which is a global issue , is also an important agenda item for the conference held in the UAE this year,” he added.
Othman Al Ali, CEO of Ewec, said: “Mirfa 2 RO is Ewec’s fifth low-carbon intensive reverse osmosis desalination project to date and, once fully operational, will be the third largest reverse osmosis plant in the UAE.”
“Achieving this important milestone demonstrates Ewec’s leadership in delivering world-class utility-scale projects, backed by strong local and international partners, that accelerate the UAE’s energy transition while ensuring sustainable, affordable Affordable and safe water supply is in line with the Emirates Water Safety Strategy 2036,” he said.
“Creating a series of RO projects to attract investment in the sector is an integral part of Ewec’s strategic move to decouple water and Reduce carbon emissions by up to 75%,” Al Ali observed.
“Through our initiatives, we predict that by 2030 more than 90% of our water production will come from reverse osmosis technology, resulting in an 88% reduction in carbon emissions associated with water production,” he added.
Commenting on the deal, Frederic Claux, Managing Director of Engie Flexible Generation and Retail AMEA, said: “Strong partnerships are key to a successful collaboration and we are delighted to be working with Taqa again on another large-scale desalination asset.”
“With over 30 years of experience in the Middle East and a desalination capacity of over 1,300 MIGD, Engie is a long-term partner in the region. The group’s extensive desalination expertise is focused on developing assets using reverse osmosis membrane technology,” he added up. –trade arab news agency