TAQA, GS Inima and EWEC Announce Financial Closing for Shuweihat 4 Desalination Project

TAQA, GS Inima and EWEC Announce Financial Closing for Shuweihat 4 Desalination Project

Expected to be operational in Q2 2026, the S4 RO project will supply up to 70 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of potable water

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), GS Inima and Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) have announced the successful financial closing of the AED 1.6 billion (US$444 million) low-carbon intensive Shuweihat 4 Reverse Osmosis Seawater Desalination Project (S4 RO).

The project is primarily funded (71%) through debt financing from both local and international banks, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH (KFW) and The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM).

The S4 RO financial closing comes after TAQA and GS Inima signed the water purchase agreement with EWEC in August 2023.

S4 RO is TAQA’s second utility-scale reverse osmosis plant to reach financial close in 2023 and the second major reverse osmosis project awarded by EWEC this year, following the Mirfa 2 Reverse Osmosis Seawater Desalination Project in H1 2023.

Located within the Shuweihat Power and Water Complex, S4 RO will supply up to 70 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of potable water, equivalent to approximately 320,000 cubic metres per day, significantly enhancing the security of water supply in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Commercial operations are expected to commence in Q2 2026, with EWEC procuring water supplied by the S4 RO plant for 30 years.

The S4 RO project is 60% owned by TAQA and 40% by GS Inima. Both companies will also take on the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the plant, with 60% of the O&M company owned by GS Inima and 40% by TAQA.

Farid Al Awlaqi, Executive Director of Generation at TAQA, said: “TAQA has established itself as the UAE’s leading utility company for owning and operating large-scale reverse osmosis water desalination plants.

"S4 RO will further enhance our existing portfolio and our strong pipeline of RO projects that are bringing us closer to meeting our 2030 target for deploying efficient RO technology within our water generation portfolio. TAQA’s water generation capacity will be over 1,250 MIGD, making us a major player in water desalination.

"Additionally, RO plants play a key role in supporting our 2030 ESG targets, with the decoupling of power and water production allowing us to significantly reduce the overall carbon footprint of our water generation operations, advancing the UAE’s net-zero targets and positioning Abu Dhabi as a low-carbon desalination leader.”

Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “We are delighted that we have reached financial close with our partners on S4 RO, the second strategically important, world-class reverse osmosis project to reach this major milestone in 2023.

"S4 RO will grow EWEC’s RO production capacity and strengthen security of supply, becoming our sixth RO project."

"We are strategically decoupling water and power generation and forecast that over 90 per cent of our water production capacity will be from RO technology by 2030, resulting in a 492 per cent increase in our RO capacity compared to 2020, and significantly reducing carbon emissions.

"Coupled with our plans for a 600 per cent increase in solar power generation capacity by 2030, we are actively driving the achievement of Abu Dhabi’s Clean Energy Targets 2035, and the UAE’s NetZero by 2050 strategic initiative.”

Diego de Vera, Global Business Development Director from GS Inima, said: “We are proud to have succeeded in completing the financial close for S4 RO during globally challenging times. The diligence and effort put into the structuring of the project is outstanding.

"It not only demonstrates our position as a worldwide referent in the water sector but also speaks highly about the trust our investors and partners place in us. We look forward to working with them, contributing to a more efficient water sector in UAE and beyond.”

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