Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) and French renewables company Engie have announced the financial closing of the 2.3 billion dirham (US$620 million) Mirfa 2 Reverse Osmosis (M2 RO) desalination project in Abu Dhabi.
Around 78% of the project cost is being funded via a loan from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), BNP Paribas Fortis, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Norinchukin Bank, BNP Paribas, and KfW IPEX-Bank.
Taqa owns 60% of the project while Engie holds the remaining 40% stake. Both companies will take on the operation and maintenance of the plant. The offtaker is Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) under a 30-year agreement signed in February.
The M2 RO plant will produce 550,000 cubic metres of potable water daily, and will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2025. The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors are Abu Dhabi contractor Al Nasr Contracting Company and Société Internationale de Dessalement (Sidem).
The plant is Ewec’s fifth low-carbon desalination project in a pipeline of initiatives to decouple water and power generation towards realizing the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy’s clean energy target to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2035. The RO desalination process is up to six times more efficient than traditional thermal desalination.
“Through our initiatives, we forecast that over 90% of our water production will be from RO technology by 2030, resulting in an 88% reduction in carbon emissions associated with water production,” says Ewec chief executive officer Othman Al-Ali.
The existing Mirfa 1 is a power generating and seawater desalination plant producing 1,702 megawatts and 53 million imperial gallons of water per day. The plant began commercial operations in October 2017.