Acciona and Besix join to build new US$237 million desalination plant for DEWA

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded an US$237 million contract for the construction of 40 Million Imperial Gallons Per Day (MIGD) Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) based desalination plant in Jebel Ali, to a joint venture comprising ACCIONA Agua S.A and Belhasa Six Construct (BeSIX).

This new Seawater Reverse (SWRO) Plant is being developed as a brown field seawater desalination plant and associated facilities, with the selected desalination technology being Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO), two (2) pass RO, including pre-treatment facilities.

This plant is expected to be commissioned by May 2020 to meet the reserve margin criterion set for peak water demand for the year 2020 and beyond.

“In line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DEWA implements its strategic plan which is a vital part of Dubai Plan 2021. It also aims to establish Dubai’s leading position in the region, as an example of an effective and efficient infrastructure for electricity and water networks, to meet current and future requirements for all aspects of development in the Emirate,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“In line with Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 which aims to reduce Dubai’s carbon footprint to be the smallest in the world by 2050, we work to increase the efficiency of the water production plants through promoting PV panels and other solar technologies. To ensure this, we need to connect Multi-stage flash desalination (MSF) based plants to a centralized solar energy source such as the MBR Solar Park, so our strategy is to build production plants based on Reverse Osmosis (RO) which requires 90% less energy than that of MSF, making it a more sustainable choice for water desalination,” Al Tayer added.

“We feel that our joint venture was selected because of our solid regional track record and, the fact that we provided a solid resolution to a tough engineering challenge”, said Jesus Sancho, Acciona Middle East Managing Director. “Acciona Agua has delivered and operated more than 800mld through Reverse Osmosis technology in the Middle East, and Besix has a top-tier reputation in marine and civil works in the UAE. The award of this project elevates the reputation of both Acciona and Besix in the UAE and the region towards innovative desalination projects,” said Jesus Sancho, Managing Director Acciona Middle East.

For nearly 60 years, DEWA has been the ultimate authority for the power and water generation and distribution in the Emirate of Dubai. Today, DEWA generates 10200 megawatts of electricity and 470 million imperial gallons of water per day, and has a workforce of over 11,000 employees serving over 800,000 customers in Dubai.

DEWA’s complex in Jebel Ali for power generation and water desalination is one of the largest Power and Desalination complexes worldwide.

The GCC region is well known by Acciona Agua because of its work at Fujairah plant. Acciona Agua has also had success in Saudi Arabia with Al Jubail sweater plant and in Qatar two SWRO projects in Ras Abu Fontas and Umm Al Houl.