Abu Dhabi to decide on wastewater plant by year-end

31 October 2023

Abu Dhabi Sustainable Water Solutions (ADSWS), formerly Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC), has extended until the end of the year the validity of the performance bonds for the bids it received earlier this year for the contract to design, build and operate an advanced treated sewage effluent (TSE) plant.

The TSE polishing plant package has been tendered and will be procured using an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model as initially planned, the company's managing director and CEO, Ahmed al-Shamsi, tells MEED. 

Industry sources had recently told MEED that ADSWS may have been considering converting the EPC project into a build-own-operate-transfer scheme.  

Al-Shamsi said, however, that there is no change in the plan to procure the project using an EPC model.

"We have extended the performance bonds until the end of the year," he tells MEED, adding that the project's final approval from the Abu Dhabi government could be issued within the next two months.  

MEED reported in February this year that five companies and consortiums submitted bids for the contract.

Among those that submitted proposals for the contract on 23 January are Spain's Acciona, UAE-based Tecton Engineering, and a team comprising Spanish contractor Abengoa and local contracting company Emarat Aloula.

The plant is expected to have a design capacity of 700,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), with the potential to expand this capacity to 950,000 cm/d in a subsequent phase, as MEED reported.

The TSE facility will produce water for higher-end applications compared to TSE produced in a standard sewage treatment plant.

Twelve individual companies and teams were prequalified to bid for the contract last year. They are:

  • Abengoa (Spain)
  • Acciona (Spain)
  • Aqualia (Spain)
  • Aquatech (local)
  • Hydropower / BEWG (Germany)
  • Metito / GCC
  • Six Construct (local) / Veolia (France)
  • Sepco 3 (China)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Italy)
  • Tecton (local)
  • VA Tech Wabag (India)
  • Orascom (Egypt) / Cobra (Spain)

MEED understands Tecton bid alone, although it was initially expected to partner with Israel's IDE.

Sepco 3 is understood to have declined to bid for the contract.

The scheme is one of the first major water treatment projects to be tendered by ADSSC in recent years.

Canada’s Stantec is the project’s technical consultant. 

First Step

Abu Dhabi has completed its AED5.7bn ($1.55bn) strategic tunnel enhancement programme (Step), the Middle East’s first deep-tunnel sewer network.

Developed to upgrade Abu Dhabi’s strained sewerage network, the majority of which was installed in the 1970s, Step consists of a 41-kilometre tunnel, starting on Abu Dhabi island and running south to the mainland, descending from 24 metres below ground level to a depth of 80 metres in some places.

ADSSC last year invited bids for contracts to rehabilitate the wastewater network infrastructure of Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain.

Water schemes worth at least $7.5bn are in the procurement and planning stages in Abu Dhabi, according to the latest available data from regional projects tracker MEED Projects. A further $1.1bn-worth of projects within the sector is under construction.


MEEDs November 2023 special report on the UAE includes: 

> COMMENT: UAE eyes global leadership role
> POLITICS: Abu Dhabi networks on the global stage
>
ECONOMY: UAE economy maintains robust growth
> BANKING: UAE banks enjoy the good times
> UPSTREAM: Hail and Ghasha galvanises UAE upstream market
> DOWNSTREAM: Adnoc spurs downstream gas expansions
> POWER: UAE closes ranks ahead of Cop28

> WATER: UAE ramps up decarbonisation of water sector
> PROJECTS: Top 10 UAE clean energy projects

> CONSTRUCTION: UAE construction sector returns to form
> TRANSPORT: UAE aviation returns to growth

 

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Jennifer Aguinaldo
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