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ACCIONA wins first desalination contract in the United Arab Emirates, worth more than US$200 million

01/21/2013

The Company will design, build and operate the expansion of the Fujairah desalination plant (137,000m3/day capacity)

ACCIONA, a global leader in renewable energy, infrastructure and water services, has won its first contract in the United Arab Emirates with a mandate to design, build, and operate the expansion of the Fujairah desalination plant, located in the north of the country.

Emirates SembCorp Water & Power Company-a public-private company made up of the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority  and Singapore's SembCorp water and energy utility- awarded the contract to a consortium made up of ACCIONA Agua (75%) and ACCIONA Infrastructure (25%).

The construction, operation and maintenance contract is worth more than US$200 million (around €150m at current exchange rates). The project will increase the desalination plant's capacity by 137,000m3/day, and will take 28 months to build. The expanded facility, with a total capacity of 592,000m3/day, is expected to serve a population equivalent of almost 600,000 inhabitants.

This is ACCIONA Agua's first contract in the UAE, and its third major contract in the Middle East, one of the world's biggest markets for the desalination and water treatment sector due to the region's acute shortage of fresh water.

ACCIONA Agua opened offices in Dubai in 2007. In October 2012, it won a US$100 million contract to design, build and commission the Al Jubail seawater desalination plant which will service both the city and its associated industrial complex located in the eastern Province on the Persian Gulf. Earlier this month, ACCIONA Agua was awarded an operation and maintenance (O&M) contract for the wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) of Haddah-1 and Arana-1, both in Mecca Province, with a combined capacity of 375,000m3/day.

Following a few years in which big projects in the Persian Gulf were put on hold as a result of the global financial crisis, last year saw renewed activity in infrastructure and water tenders in the region's biggest economies -  Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Oman. The UAE recently announced a 51 million dirham (around 10.5 billion euro) investment plan for water treatment plants for the next four years.

ACCIONA Agua is a global leader in reverse osmosis (RO) technology - a method that uses filters to separate water from salt. This method is gaining market share in the Middle East because it is less energy-intensive than evaporation-based Multistage Flash Desalination (MSF), the technology of choice in the Middle East up until only a few years ago. RO technology has proved to be more effective overall and more energy-cost efficient because of the very high salinity of the sea in the Gulf.

ACCIONA Agua has an impressive track record in applying RO technology to seawater and brackish water, with more than 70 desalination plants built by the Company around the world. The company produces more than 1.9 million cubic meters of drinking water each day - enough for the needs of six million people.

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