UAE begins massive reverse osmosis buildup

11 April 2023

This package on the UAE's water sector also includes:

Dewa extends Hassyan IWP bid deadline

Adnoc resumes Project Wave negotiations

Sharjah issues first independent water tender

Ewec rules out solar in desalination projects

French/local team wins contract to build Mirfa 2 IWP

Adnoc selects Cobra-led team for PPP project


State utilities in the UAE are seeking to increase the share of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) technology in the overall capacity of their desalination plants in line with their carbon emission reduction targets and the UAE’s net-zero by 2050 goal.

This will end the domination of water production capacity by thermal desalination plants over the past decades.

The demand for additional SWRO capacity is especially evident in Abu Dhabi, where nearly half of the existing water desalination capacity will come out of contract between 2025 and 2029.

The power- and water-purchase agreements (P/WPA) for four major utility plants in Abu Dhabi, with a total combined water desalination capacity of 441 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD), will expire during this period.

Unlike the thermal power plant components of these independent water and power projects (IWPPs), which are subject to extension negotiations, the state utility Emirates Water & Electricity Company (Ewec) is inclined to dismantle all thermal desalination plants associated with these assets – or convert them into SWRO plants – upon the expiry of their contracts. This strategy aligns with its goal to halve its carbon emissions.

Over the next two to four years, Ewec envisages putting 290MIGD of SWRO capacity in place. This is in addition to the Taweelah SWRO plant’s remaining 100MIGD of capacity that is yet to enter commercial operation. Once this plant is at full capacity, it will plug in the capacity from Taweelah A2, the emirate’s first thermal IWPP, which was mothballed in 2021.

Recent SWRO projects in Abu Dhabi include the 120MIGD Mirfa 2 independent water producer (IWP) project, which France’s Engie is developing; the 70MIGD Shuweihat 4 IWPHudayriat and Saadiyat islands, which will each have a capacity of 50MIGD.

RELATED READ: Mirfa 2 award sends positive market signal

Both Mirfa 2 and Shuweihat 4 have a target commercial operation date of 2025, while the two Abu Dhabi Islands IWP projects are expected to provide replacement capacity for the Sas al-Nakhl plant, whose contract expires in 2027.

Longer term, Ewec will need to procure 494MIGD of SWRO capacity by 2036, under the base-case scenario of its 2023-29 Statement of Future Capacity Requirements.

Demand fluctuations

Demand for desalinated water in Abu Dhabi over the short term is anticipated to decrease from just under 800MIGD in 2022 to 764MIGD this year. This is due to reduced exports to Etihad Water & Electricity (Ewe), which is commissioning its first 150MIGD IWP in Umm al-Quwain.

Demand is expected to grow slowly between 2023 and 2029, when it is projected to reach 805MIGD. This is just slightly higher than in 2022, primarily due to recycled water replacing desalinated water as the dominant irrigation supply source.

In Dubai, the procurement process is under way for the 120MIGD Hassyan IWP. The contract for the emirate’s first IWP was tendered before and awarded in 2020, but the project stalled and Dewa relaunched the tender in 2022.

Four teams led by Engie, Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, Spain/South Korea’s GS Inima and Metito are understood to be among those qualified to bid for the contract.

The project has a planned capacity of 120MIGD, with an alternative proposal for an aggregate capacity of 180MIGD. Dewa expects to commission it in phases between 2025 and 2026.

The facility is part of Dewa’s plan to increase its water desalination production capacity from 490MIGD to 750MIGD by 2030. By this time, it envisages RO to account for 41 per cent of its overall desalination capacity, in support of Dubai’s 2050 Clean Energy Strategy.

Northern emirates

As previously stated, the Northern Emirates’ first 150MIGD IWP in Umm al-Quwain is undergoing commissioning. This frees up capacity for Abu Dhabi, which has been exporting both water and electricity to the smaller northern UAE emirates.

In early April, Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority also issued the request for proposals for the contract to develop Sharjah’s first IWP. Located next to an existing desalination plant in Hamriyah, the planned IWP will have a capacity of 90MIGD.

UAE power sector shapes up ahead of Cop28

Other projects

Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company is evaluating proposals received earlier this year for a contract to design and build a treated sewage effluent (TSE) polishing plant in Al-Wathba

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. The TSE facility will produce water for higher-end applications than the TSE produced at standard sewage treatment plants.

The largest individual projects within the sector are the two seawater treatment plants, frequently called Project Wave, being procured by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

The Mirfa and Al-Nouf nanofiltration plants and their associated utilities have budgets of between $2bn and $2.5bn each. The Mirfa package is in the advanced procurement stage, with negotiations continuing between Adnoc and the shortlisted bidders as this article is published. 


This month's special report on the UAE also includes: 

> UAE power sector shapes up ahead of Cop28

> Strategic Adnoc projects register notable progress

> UAE lenders chart a route to growth

https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/10745652/main.gif
Jennifer Aguinaldo
Related Articles
  • Saudi market returns to growth

    23 April 2024

     

    The Gulf projects market grew for the 13th straight month in March, rising by 2.4% and adding $93.6bn in value from 15 March to 12 April as the Saudi projects market returned to positive growth. The kingdom added 2.7% or $48bn in value. 

    The growth in Saudi projects was driven in part by the launch of the front-end engineering and design of $9.7bn-worth of pumped hydropower storage projects by Enowa, the utility subsidiary of Neom.

    The total budget and scope of the Mecca Gate project in Jeddah by the Al Shamiyah Urban Development was also significantly increased.

    Beyond the kingdom

    The UAE projects market also continued to grow quickly, adding 3.4% or $26bn in value over the same period.

    The value addition was led by the ongoing revival of the Al Maktoum International airport expansion and the reactivation of several project packages that had previously been considered on hold. 

    Phase one of the airport’s strategic expansion plan now has a total of $16bn-worth of work actively under study or in design, including an estimated $7bn concourse building and $3.5bn new terminal, alongside $2.7bn in sub-structural works.

    Elsewhere in the GCC, Oman’s projects markets also grew by 2.3%, adding $5.5bn, while Kuwait’s grew by 2.1%, adding $3.7bn. 

    The Qatari and Bahraini projects markets shrank, shedding 0.3% and 3.5%, or $0.8bn and $2.5bn, respectively. 

    Outside of the GCC, Iran’s projects market added 4% or $11.5bn in value, driven by the launch into execution of a $16bn pressure-boosting project at the South Pars gas field, while Iraq’s projects market added a marginal 0.5% or $1.8bn in value. 


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11705708/main.gif
    John Bambridge
  • Neom tenders desalination EPC package

    22 April 2024

     

    Saudi Arabian Neom's utility subsidiary, Enowa, has issued the request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to build a new seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant with a capacity of 150 million litres a day (MLD).

    Enowa expects to receive proposals from qualified engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies by 22 May.

    According to a source close to the project, the deadline is likely to be extended. 

    The 150MLD project, which is equivalent to a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), was previously known as the Moonlight desalination plant.

    It will be located adjacent to the existing 125MLD desalination plant at Duba on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. 

    MEED previously reported that Neom had received prequalification applications from interested companies in December.

    The project is expected to take 12 months to complete.

    Neom said the plant will treat seawater with a total dissolved solids measure of up to 42,000 milligrams a litre.

    The project scope includes:

    • offshore intake towers and pipelines 
    • seawater intake and screening station
    • feed intake chlorination system
    • media filtration or MF/UF membranes
    • reverse osmosis first pass
    • reverse osmosis second pass
    • post-treatment and stabilisation
    • automated clean-in-place system
    • waste treatment unit
    • reject disposal and outfall

    The selected contractor is also expected to build the necessary storage tanks for the desalinated and stabilised water, an operator control room, programmable logic control and Scada systems, among others.

    In addition, the plant must to comply with Neom’s cybersecurity requirements.

    To meet the short timeline, Neom has asked contractors to confirm whether they already possess a design of an existing plant that can be used for the project.

    This project’s capacity is smaller than the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) desalination plant being developed by Japan’s Itochu and France’s Veolia at Neom’s Oxagon industrial city.

    The ZLD plant’s first phase is expected to have a capacity of 500,000 cm/d.

    A consortium of Enowa, Itochu and Veolia signed the joint development for the ZLD desalination plant in December 2022.

    The planned ZLD plant will be powered 100% by renewable energy and is understood to require an investment of between $1.5bn and $2bn. It is expected to meet about 30% of Neom’s projected total water demand once complete.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701931/main.gif
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Mitsubishi Power wins Al Zour South work

    22 April 2024

    Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity, Water & Renewable Energy (MEWRE) has awarded a consortium led by Japan’s Mitsubishi Power, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a contract to rehabilitate eight units at the Al Zour South power station.

    The project will include the rehabilitation and upgrade of eight steam generator boilers, replacement of the control system for the boilers, steam turbines and auxiliaries.

    Mitsubishi Power has partnered with the local contracting firm Heavy Engineering Industries & Shipbuilding (Heisco) to implement the contract.

    The work will recover steam generation capacity, increase reliability of the grid and support Kuwait’s growing power needs, according to Mitsubishi Power.

    “By replacing deteriorated boiler components with new and upgraded components and [undertaking] boiler operation optimisation with upgrading control systems and combustion systems, it is anticipated that this large-scale rehabilitation project will increase the boiler efficiency and lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” the firm said.

    The 2,400MW Al Zour South power station was built in mid-1980s.

    Under the new contract, Mitsubishi Power will provide services for the rehabilitation of the steam units, which is aimed at improving operational reliability by overhauling deteriorated components and integrating a new distributed control system.

    Mitsubishi Power is also providing advanced environmental improvement technology solutions aimed at reducing nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions.

    This aligns with the Kuwait Environmental Public Authority's goals for emission reduction in the country.

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701892/main0422.jpg
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Sports ministry tenders Riyadh stadium contract

    22 April 2024

     

    Register for MEED's guest programme 

    Saudi Arabia's Sports Ministry has tendered a contract for the expansion of the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. 

    It issued the request for proposals on 8 April and expects to recieve bids on 14 June.

    The stadium's current capacity is 22,188 seats and the expansion aims to increase the seating capacity to approximately 45,000. The expansion project comes as the kingdom prepares to host the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2027.

    Capital projects

    The project is part of the kingdom's plan to build sports stadiums under its SR10.1bn ($2.7bn) capital projects programme.

    MEED previously reported that the Sports Ministry had tendered an early works contract for the expansion of the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam. The scope of the contract includes the decommissioning, demolition, bulk excavation, relocation and setting up of related facilities for the stadium.

    In July last year, the ministry invited construction companies to submit prequalification documents for the main construction contracts for the schemes that are part of the capital projects programme.

    The projects, which are set for completion before the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, include:

    • Increasing the capacity of King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh to 92,000 seats
    • Expanding the seating capacity of Riyadh’s Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium to 45,000
    • Increasing the capacity of Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium to 30,000 seats
    • An increase in seating capacity for the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Stadium in Al Khair to 45,000
    • The construction of a sustainable New Riyadh Stadium in the north of Riyadh with 45,000 seats

    The next main element of the ministry’s projects programme is the construction of 30 new training grounds and facilities in proximity to the stadiums that will be used for the 2027 competition.

    Construction on the schemes is expected to start in July 2024 and be completed by December 2025. A total of 18 facilities will be ready in time for the 2026 AFC Women’s Cup.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701535/main.jpg
    Yasir Iqbal
  • PIF buys Saudi towers majority share

    22 April 2024

    Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC Group) have signed definitive agreements for the PIF to acquire a 51% stake in Telecommunication Towers Company (Tawal) from STC Group.

    Tawal is valued at $5.9bn, according to the signed agreement, which the PIF announced on 22 April.

    The PIF and STC Group will consolidate Tawal and the PIF majority-owned Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLIC) into a merged entity, forming the "largest regional company in the telecommunications infrastructure sector", the Saudi sovereign wealth fund said.

    The PIF will own 54% of the combined new entity, with STC Group owning 43.1% and GLIC owning the remaining minority of the issued share capital. 

    The transactions are expected to be completed in the second half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

    It was reported in October 2022 that STC Group had received a non-binding offer from the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle to buy 51% of Tawal.

    A wholly owned subsidiary of STC Group, Tawal designs and builds telecommunications towers and has a portfolio of over 15,000 towers across the kingdom.

    The PIF previously acquired Zain Business, the entity that owns the 8,069-tower infrastructure of Zain Saudi Arabia, for more than SR3bn.

    Following the transaction in 2022, the PIF changed the name of Zain Business to GLIC. Zain KSA received a cash amount of SR2.4bn and a 20% shareholidng in GLIC as part of the purchase agreement.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701532/main5248.jpg
    Jennifer Aguinaldo