World’s largest desalination plant to be built in Abu Dhabi for $500mn

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Abu Dhabi
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The world’s largest desalination plant worth $500 million is to be built in Taweelah, Abu Dhabi with the technology support of Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation ABB Group.

The plant with a capacity to process over 900,000 cubic meters of seawater per day, enough to meet the demands of over 350,000 households, is expected to set new benchmarks for its size, efficiency and cost by utilizing the lowest amount of energy per cubic meter of water produced.

Approximately 45 kilometers north of Abu Dhabi, the Taweelah project will be the first reverse osmosis independent water project in the capital city of the UAE which will desalinate seawater for supply to local communities and industries in the area.

Currently, the plant is scheduled to become fully operational by the fourth quarter of 2022 and is estimated to supply 909,200 m³/day to meet the region’s increasing water demand, which is projected to rise by 11 percent between 2017 and 2024.

ABB will be teaming up with the Chinese construction and engineering company SEPCOIII, to ensure power supply continuity, boost system operational efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

Loay Dajani
Loay Dajani
MD – ABB Electrification

“We are very proud that ABB technology will be used at the Taweelah plant, which will contribute to the UAE’s goals of building a more sustainable, self-reliant and efficient water and energy sector in the country. When commissioned it is estimated this plant will meet water demand from more than 350,000 households. Water is obviously a critical element to a country’s prosperity and growth.”

ABB is delivering 30 panels of UniGear ZS3.2 medium-voltage switchgear and 250 panels of MNS low-voltage switchgear with digital capabilities, to ensure safe, reliable and stable power supply to the operation of the seawater desalination equipment. In an electric power system, switchgear is used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment, to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.

ABB has also delivered a wide range of low and medium voltage motors and variable speed drives to ensure reliable and energy-efficient pumping in the plant. The ACS580MV medium voltage drives match the speed and torque of the motors to the pumping demand for maximum energy savings.

James Zhao, lead business manager of ABB Electrification in China stated “Power supply reliability and energy management are critical to the long-term, reliable and efficient operation of many infrastructures around the world, including seawater desalination projects. We are honored to work with SEPCOIII, a leading EPC contractor in the world, to provide leading power distribution technology for this iconic project in Abu Dhabi.”

Related: Chemical-free water in UAE; Masdar-backed QS Monitor partners with Israel’s Elgressy