Spanish company Abengoa, in a consortium with SEPCOIII, has secured a contract to build a large reverse osmosis desalination plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Image: R&D Center of Abengoa Water in Dos Hermanas, Sevilla. Photo: Courtesy of Abengoa.

As per Abengoa, the desalination plant will be located in Taweelah power and water generation complex, 45km North Abu Dhabi and will have a capacity of 909,000 m³ per day and will supply drinking water to the city throughout the year.

The project is valued to be more than $700m and Abengoa’s part of the contract is estimated to be $243m. The project is expected to be completed in the next three years.

Specifically, Abengoa’s scope of contract will include collection of seawater, pumping, pretreatment, reverse osmosis system with energy recovery, post-treatment, pumping station, product water storage, effluent treatment, discharge by outfall and field solar photovoltaic, along with the associated electrical installations that includes building an electrical substation of 132/34.5kV.

The desalination system will be powered by a 40MW solar photovoltaic plant to be installed at the complex, thus adding to the sustainability of the plant.

The project is part of the UAE government’s plan to encourage private participation in developing the country’s infrastructure. The water plant is expected to have a capacity of supplying drinking water to nearly four and a half million people.

The order strengthens Abengoa’s position in desalination sector. It has an installed capacity of 1.5 million m³ per day, which is expected to increase to 3.7 million when the portfolio is completed.

Additionally, the Spanish company is currently executing the Rabigh III desalination plant with 600,000m³ per day and Shuaibah III desalination plant with 250,000m³ per day, in Saudi Arabia and the Salalah desalination plant with 114,000m³ per day in Oman.

Last month, the company secured an RO desalination contract as part of SEPCOIII’s consortium, for Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), located in Dubai, UAE.

For this contract, Abengoa will be responsible for the engineering, the supply of mechanical equipment, and instrumentation and control, as well as the supervision of the start-up of a desalination plant that will produce more than 41,000 m³ per day of drinking water and water for industrial use.