Taqa Builds Water Desalination Plant on Arabian Peninsula

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. and the United Arab Emirates’ federal utility agreed to build a desalination plant to provide drinking water to 250,000 people in the Persian Gulf country’s smaller sheikhdoms.

Taqa, as the Abu Dhabi government-owned utility is known, said the reverse-osmosis facility that removes salt and contaminants from water through semi-permeable membranes will have a capacity of 30 million imperial gallons a day when completed. No terms were disclosed in today’s statement.

Taqa and partner the Federal Electricity & Water Authority will seek project financing for the plant in the sheikhdom of Ajman that will supply potable water to five emirates along the northern tip of the Arabian peninsula.

The U.A.E. is among Gulf nations adding desalination plants to cope with growing populations and energy demands that tax local water supplies. Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E. capital and largest emirate, has built generation and desalination plants and can transmit electricity by expanding the national grid. Dubai, second-biggest of the seven sheikhdoms, generates its own power at plants.

Taqa and FEWA signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to start construction on the Ajman works early next year with completion expected in 2017.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net; Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net