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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Abu-Dhabi-based Mirfa 2 water desalination project has secured funding of 2.3 billion dirhams ($620 million), achieving financial closure of what will become the UAE’s third-largest reverse osmosis plant.
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., or TAQA, announced the financial closure alongside French low-carbon services company ENGIE and Emirates Water and Electricity Co. in a bourse filing.
According to the filing, 78 percent of the project is primarily funded through debt financing from local and international banks, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., The Norinchukin Bank, BNP Paribas and KfW IPEX-Bank.
The Mirfa 2 RO plant will produce roughly 550,000 cubic meters of potable water daily and will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2025.
While TAQA would own 60 percent of the project and ENGIE the rest, both companies will take on the operations and maintenance of the plant.
The release further stated that EWEC would procure the water supplied from the plant for 30 years.
“TAQA is proud to invest in the development, ownership, and operation of this critical water project in Abu Dhabi, which will contribute to the UAE’s decarbonization efforts as well as TAQA’s emissions reduction targets,” said Farid Al-Awlaqi, executive director of generation, TAQA in the statement.
He added: “Mirfa 2 RO also enables us to accelerate how we decouple power and water operations across our assets to further reduce our carbon impact.”
The Mirfa 2 RO plant is EWEC’s fifth low-carbon intensive RO desalination project in a pipeline of initiatives to decouple water and power generation toward realizing the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Strategic Targets 2035 to reduce carbon emissions by 75 percent.
“Through our initiatives, we forecast that over 90 percent of our water production will be from RO technology by 2030, resulting in an 88 percent reduction in carbon emissions associated with water production,” said Othman Al-Ali, CEO of EWEC.
The plant will leverage efficient RO desalination, up to six times more efficient than traditional thermal desalination. The technology would also enable plant operators to reduce carbon emissions by decoupling water and power generation processes, thus supporting the broader efforts of the energy sector to cut costs and achieve sustainability targets.
“We are delighted to have achieved financial close and look forward to commencing build and ultimately operations,” said Frederic Claux, managing director of the flexible generation and retail division of ENGIE in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
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