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GDF SUEZ signs Abu Dhabi IWPP agreement

The French utility has signed a 25-year power and water purchase agreement with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Company.

French utility GDF SUEZ has signed a 25-year power and water purchase agreement with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Company (ADWEC) for the Mirfa Independent Water and Power (IWPP) project, tapping into growing demand in the region.

GDF SUEZ holds a 20 percent equity stake in the project with ADWEC holding the remaining 80 percent, according to a statement.

The Mirfa project, located 120 kilometers from Abu Dhabi, is the United Arab Emirates’ 10th facility to be built under the public-private partnership (PPP; P3) model, the statement said.

The cost of the project will be about $1.5 billion, funded by a mix of debt and equity, with the debt commitments currently oversubscribed. It will involve the acquisition of certain existing water and power facilities, the development, design, engineering and construction of new power and water facilities, as well as the operation of the plant, it said.

When finished, Mirfa IWPP will have a total power capacity of 1,600 megawatts (MW) and a seawater desalination capacity of 52.5 MIGD (238,665 m3/day), the statement said.

“We are pleased to successfully formalise the framework for our exclusive partnership with ADWEC for the Mirfa project, our sixth development in the United Arab Emirates. This new project will allow us to pursue our growth strategy in the region and to meet the increasing demand for both electricity and water in the United Arab Emirates,” GDF SUEZ chairman and chief executive Gerard Mestrallet said.

GDF SUEZ has selected a turnkey EPC contractor consortium comprising Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and Hyundai Engineering Co. from Korea, as well as Ansaldo Energia from Italy. Degremont, a subsidiary of SUEZ Environnement, will be responsible for the new seawater Reverse Osmosis (RO) facility as a subcontractor to the EPC contractor.

Commercial operation of the project is expected on a phased basis between 2016 and 2017. The project is targeted to satisfy Abu Dhabi’s rising demand for electricity and water as well as supporting the development of the UAE’s Northern Emirates.