French firm bags Abu Dhabi energy project deal

August 1st, 2008 - 4:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Aug 1 (IANS) French energy firm GDF SUEZ Energy International has bagged a multimillion dollar contract to supply power and water to the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the next 20 years. Though the exact figure of the deal has not been disclosed, GDF SUEZ will own 40 percent of the Shuweihat 2 power generation and seawater desalination plant while the remaining 60 percent will be with the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), reports said.

Shuweihat 2 is a greenfield, natural gas-fired installation that will deliver 1,500 MW of electricity and 454,610 cubic metres (cu.m.) of water per day.

The plant will be located in the west of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, 280 km from Al Taweelah, another power generation and desalination plant in which GDF SUEZ has a 20 percent stake.

“With Shuweihat 2, we now have 10 plants in our Middle East portfolio, the majority combining power and desalination,” Dirk Beeuwsaert, chief executive of GDF SUEZ Energy, said in a statement.

“They represent over 12,000 MW of electricity and 2 million cu.m. of water per day, an increasingly significant part of GDF SUEZ’s overall energy assets,” he added.

Demand for power in the UAE is surging due to population growth and an industrial boom, fuelled by record oil prices.

Abu Dhabi is planning to raise the power generation capacity by 35 percent over the next five years, with demand for power rising by almost 80 percent by 2012. Water demand is estimated to grow at five percent per year.

ADWEA is planning to launch a similar project, Shuweihat 3, soon even as the completion and start-up of the Shuweihat 2 plant is scheduled for 2011.

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