ESC to expand seawater desalination facility in UAE

Emirates Sembcorp Water & Power Company (ESC) has announced plans to undertake a $200 million project to expand the capacity of the Fujairah 1 Independent Water and Power Plant (IWPP), an operating hybrid desalination plant in the UAE.

The project will increase the seawater desalination capacity of the Fujairah 1 IWPP by 30 million imperial gallons per day (MiGD) to reach a total capacity of 130MiGD. The company plans to utilize reverse osmosis process to increase the capacity of the facility.

Of the total water desalinated at the facility, almost 67.5MiGD will be produced using reverse osmosis, while the remaining 62.5MiGD will be produced using multi-stage flash. The use of multiple processes to desalinate water is likely to make the Fujairah 1 IWPP the largest reverse osmosis desalination facility in the Middle East.

The expansion will also include the installation of a new Dissolved Air Floatation system, which will improve the quality of the seawater feed. ESC has entered into a 20-year water purchase agreement with the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company (ADWEC) for the sale of plant’s 30 MiGD water output from the expansion.

The company has awarded design and build contract to Acciona Agua and Acciona Infraestructuras, members of a Spain-based Acciona Group. Under the contract, the companies will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance services for the expansion project for a period of seven years.

ESC is a joint venture between Sembcorp Gulf Holding Co and Union Power Holding Company, subsidiaries of Sembcorp Utilities and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) respectively. Sembcorp holds an effective 40% stake in ESC.