* TAQA plans to separate water from power business
* To add 120 mln gallons per day capacity in 5 years
By Stanley Carvalho
ABU DHABI, Jan 21 Abu Dhabi National Energy
Company (TAQA) plans to grow its water business via
new projects and acquisitions across the Middle East and North
Africa (MENA) as well as India by creating an independent
operation, a company executive said on Tuesday.
Currently, the firm's power and water businesses operate
together as in many of its markets water desalination and power
generation plants are situated in close proximity.
The state-owned utility has investments in the energy and
power sector from India and the Middle East and Africa to the
United Kingdom and north America. Its desalination assets,
however, are all located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
As its sets up a separate water business within the company
later this year, TAQA aims to boost its water output by at least
120 mgpd (million gallons per day) in five years by building new
desalination plants or through acquisitions. That would mean
about four plants each with a capacity of 30 mgpd.
"We are looking at doing some projects in the UAE and some
across the MENA region and India where the market is huge,"
Ahmed bin Abbod al Adawi, head of TAQA's global water
operations, told Reuters at an energy conference.
TAQA may invest in Ghana's water sector after the African
state sought the UAE's expertise in this field, he added.
TAQA is among bidders for a 46 mgpd independent water
project in Qurrayat, Oman.
"There is a local and regional market shift to independent
water projects, a decoupling from power generation," al Adawi
This is in part due to the new Reverse Osmosis (RO)
technology, an alternative desalination technique that is
cheaper, needs less energy and can be sited anywhere along a
Also, most countries in the region have huge power capacity
serving a highly seasonal demand (mainly in summer) that makes
it expensive and wasteful to ensure steady water production
using power plant-based thermal technology.
TAQA, majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government, has
launched its first RO technology project at its existing
Fujairah 1 power and desalination plant, investing $186 million
to add 30 mgpd of water. The project is due for completion in
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Mark Potter)