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ADWEA and GDF SUEZ sign off on $1.5bn Mirfa plant

Construction to get underway as 13 local banks commit to $1.5bn IWPP.

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Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and GDF SUEZ have achieved financial close for the Mirfa Independent Water and Power Project (Mirfa IWPP) in Abu Dhabi.

The total investment cost of the project is approximately $1.5bn, funded by a mix of debt and equity.

The debt requirement for the project will be met through funding from a consortium of thirteen local and international commercial financial institutions.

Close to $500mn of senior debt was committed by domestic banks in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (First Gulf Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Union National Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank).

The signing of the financing agreements marks the start of the construction phase of the project.

GDF SUEZ has selected a consortium comprising Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and Hyundai Engineering Co. from Korea and Ansaldo Energia SpA from Italy as a turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor.

Degremont, a subsidiary of SUEZ Environnement, will be responsible for the new seawater Reverse Osmosis (RO) facility as a subcontractor to the EPC contractor.

Commercial operation of the project is expected to commence on a phased basis between 2016 and 2017.

Located 120 km from Abu Dhabi city, the Mirfa plant project is the Emirate’s tenth facility to be built under the public-private partnership IWPP model.

ADWEA holds an 80% equity interest in the project with the remaining 20% held by GDF SUEZ.

The plant’s power and water output will be sold to the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC) under a Power and Water Purchase Agreement (PWPA) for a 25-year period.

The project will involve the acquisition of certain existing water and power facilities and the development, design, engineering and construction of new power and water facilities, as well as the operation of the plant.

When finished, and with the existing and new facilities fully integrated, Mirfa IWPP will have a total power capacity of 1,600 MW and a seawater desalination capacity of 52.5 MIGD (238,665 m3/day).

ADWEA’s Director General, His Excellency Faris Obaid Al Dhaheri, said: “The Mirfa project reflects the wise vision of the Government of Abu Dhabi and its continued support for the power and water sector, and it is an important addition to the sector and once completed will play a key role in delivering power and water competitively to meet Abu Dhabi’s growing electricity and water demand.

“GDF SUEZ has demonstrated its commitment to the power and water sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and we look forward to implementing this project successfully together.”

Lucas Hautvast, CEO and president of GDF SUEZ Energy South Asia, Middle East & Africa, said: “GDF SUEZ entered the UAE in 2000 and Mirfa is our sixth major development in the country.

“We take pride in being considered a partner for ADWEA and we remain committed to delivering the electricity and water that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi needs to sustain its economic growth.”

A fully-owned subsidiary of GDF SUEZ will be responsible for the Operations & Maintenance of the power plant.

To date, GDF SUEZ operates five of the ADWEA power and water plants in the UAE: Al Taweelah A1, Shuweihat S1, Umm Al Nar, Fujairah F2 and Shuweihat S2.

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