Abengoa consortium wins contract for $700m desalination plant in UAE


A consortium of Spanish company Abengoa and Chinese engineering firm SEPCOIII has secured a contract to begin early works for the construction of a $700m reverse osmosis desalination plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The desalination plant will be located in Taweelah power and water generation complex, about 45km north of Abu Dhabi. Abengoa’s part of the contract is estimated to be about $243m in the next three years.

The plant will have a capacity of 909,000m³ per day, which will supply water to the city of Abu Dhabi throughout the year. The plant will be powered by a 40MW solar, making the plant run on clean electricity.

The scope of the project includes 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 (PV) along with the associated electrical installations including the construction of 132/34.5kV electrical substation.

With the latest order, Abengoa claims to have become a leading player in the desalination sector in the world, with an installed capacity of 1.5 million m³ per day and it is expected to expand to 3.7 million when the portfolio under execution is completed.

Furthermore, Abengoa said the new contract strengthened its presence in the Middle East, where it is presently executing the Rabigh III desalination plant, of 600,000m³ per day and Shuaibah III desalination plant, of 250,000m³ per day, in Saudi Arabia and the Salalah desalination plant, of 114,000m³ per day, in Oman.

Last month, Abengoa was selected by SEPCOIII, the engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contractor to build a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in the industrial complex of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA).

The plant will be located in Jebel Ali, a port town 35km south-west of Dubai, UAE. The plant will be able to produce more than 41,000m³ per day of drinking water and water for industrial use.

The plant will include a pretreatment through dissolved air flotation (DAF) and gravity filters, a reverse osmosis system of five racks, post-treatment of calcite and CO2 beds and water pumping.

Additionally, it will have a high purity water production system through an electrodeionization treatment (CEDI, Continuous Electro Deionization).


Image: Desalination plant in Barka, Omán. Photo: Courtesy of Abengoa.

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