Barka, Ghubra projects to meet water demand


Joining hands: Ahmed Saleh Al Jahdhami, from left; Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Mahrouqi and Mohammad bin Abdullah Abunayyan at the ground breaking ceremony of ACWA Power Barka.Pic: A. R. RAJKUMAR/ Times of Oman

Muscat:  ACWA Power Barka water expansion project and another water project in Ghubra announced by Oman Power and Water Procurement company, will help in meeting the projected demand for potable water, which is expected to increase by 8 per cent per annum, said Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Mahrouqi, chairman of Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW).

He was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of ACWA Power Barka water expansion project in Barka held at its site recently.

Mohammad bin Abdullah Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power Barka, said that this is a fast-track project requested by the PAEW in an effort to meet the expected shortfall in desalinated water particularly during the next two years.  He said ACWA Power Barka would also venture into solar project in Morocco as the demand for solar energy is growing in the Arab countries.

He appreciated Oman's vision in permitting public-private partnerships even before other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members would even think of it. He hailed that other GCC countries have adapted Oman model.

Projected shortfall
He said the ACWA expansion project comes at an opportune time as the demand for potable water in Oman is putting pressure on the existing capacities. "The additional water production will help match the demand that is estimated to be rising at 8 per cent per annum. The projected shortfall in the water desalination production capacity of the Sultanate will surely be augmented with the help of this new project," he added.

ACWA Power Barka water expansion project is part of the expansion plans of ACWA Power and once ready the expansion plant will produce 10 MIGD (million imperial gallons per day) of potable water.

This Independent Water Project (IWP) will be developed on a Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis adjacent to ACWA Power Barka's existing plant. The existing desalination facility has been producing 20 MIGD of potable water since 2003 and the new plant is expected to catapult the production levels to 30 MIGD. The new plant will be the first of its kind and will reuse seawater heat-rejection from the existing desalination process for potable water capacity addition.

More water projects
Ahmed Saleh Al Jahdhami, chief operating officer of Oman Power and Water Procurement company, said that the company have signed agreements to take up three more water projects in Sur, Ghubra and Quriyat.

He pointed out that the Ghubra desalination project will be ready by 2014.
Nadeem Rizvi, chief executive of ACWA Power Barka, commented,  "In the medium- to long-term, this expansion project will prove to be a well-sought solution to balance shortfalls of current desalinated water production capacity in the Sultanate."

 We willcontinue to play a larger role in the water and power sector in Oman with innovative solutions that create value."

Earlier, Jesus Oriol Gonzalez Martinez, project director of Abeinsa, the  EPC contractor; and Nadeem Rizvi, chief executive of ACWA Power Barka, also spoke on the occasion.

ACWA Power International is a lead developer, owner and operator of independent water and power projects structured on a concession or utility outsourcing contract model. ACWA Power is incorporated in Saudi Arabia with a paid up capital base in excess of $1 billion.

The company holds equity ownership in a portfolio of contracted assets comprising 12,000 MW of power generation plants and 2.3 million cubic metres per day of desalinated water production plants. ACWA Power employs more than 2,300 people and has a combined investment value of over $15.2 billion

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