Orascom-led consortium to develop $2.4bn water treatment project

The mega project will comprise a greenfield seawater nanofiltration plant with a treatment capacity of more than 500,000cu/m per day, in addition to other facilities

A contract to develop, own and operate a large-scale seawater treatment and water transportation project in the UAE has been awarded to Orascom Construction and its consortium with Metito. The project is being jointly developed by Abu Dhabi-based Adnoc and Taqa, at a total investment of US $2.4bn.

Once complete, the project will provide sustainable water supply for Adnoc’s onshore operations, and will reinforce the duo’s position as responsible energy leaders and underscoring their efforts to drive sustainable initiatives that deliver long-term value.

According to a statement, the project will replace the current high-salinity, deep aquifer water systems at the fields, thereby reducing water injection-related energy consumption by up to 30%. The project will be connected to the grid and will receive 100% of its power from clean energy sources.

The mega project will comprise a greenfield seawater nanofiltration plant with a treatment capacity of more than 500,000cu/m per day, in addition to seawater intake and outfall facilities, pumping stations, a water transmission pipeline of 75km, and an in-field distribution network of more than 230km to support reservoir pressure maintenance in the Bab and Bu Hasa fields in Abu Dhabi.

“We are delighted to partner with Taqa and other industry leaders in this strategic project that will reduce our environmental footprint and unlock significant value as we continue to decarbonise and future proof our operations. The project will enhance our onshore energy efficiency by replacing less-efficient, high-salinity, deep aquifer water systems with a centralised seawater treatment facility and transportation network. More than 60% of the project value during the development and operation phases will flow back into the UAE’s economy under Adnoc’s highly successful In-Country Value (ICV) programme,” said Adnoc Upstream Executive Director Abdulmunim Al Kindy.

The greenfield project will be funded through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in which Adnoc and Taqa will jointly hold a 51% stake, while the rest 49% stake will be with Orascom Construction and Metito (who will each have a 24.5% stake). The project will also enhance energy efficiency by up to 30% and reduce Adnoc’s environmental footprint compared to the current injection system, the statement noted.

As per the deal, the Orascom consortium will arrange the project financing for the construction phase and develop the project under a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model, with the full project being returned to Adnoc after 30 years of operation.

Taqa’s Group CEO and Managing Director Jasim Husain Thabet remarked, “As a champion for low carbon power and water, Taqa is pleased to partner again with Adnoc, this time to advance the UAE’s sustainability goals by providing treated seawater for Adnoc’s onshore operations. As a major utility, Taqa is especially committed to partnerships like this that use our expertise to help drive environmental stewardship while maintaining water security and supporting economic growth.”

Commenting on the partnership, Orascom Construction CEO Osama Bishai remarked, “We are proud to partner with Adnoc and Taqa to deliver a project that is key to the sustainable development of the UAE’s oil and gas sector. We started our focus on important water projects over a decade ago and have since played a major role in undertaking some of the most complex projects in this sector. We are also pleased to strengthen our presence in the UAE as we continue to target strategic projects in the region across sectors in which we have developed strong expertise.”

He added, “The project also plays a key role in our growth strategy to pursue infrastructure investments that provide both construction opportunities and long-term recurring income.”

Metito Managing Director Rami Ghandour concluded, “With UAE as a global hub for innovations and sustainable practices, this mega project is testament of how capitalizing on technology can revolutionize industry norms and practices to best preserve valuable water resources and the environment. Over the years Metito has built a strategic project portfolio of mega concession projects and iconic world and industry firsts and we are confident this will be a landmark project and a global milestone. We are honoured to be part of this.”

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