Saudi's Acwa Power signs deal to develop sustainable water desalination sector in Egypt

Published: 5 March 2020 - 2 p.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Saudi headquartered ACWA Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct preliminary and feasibility studies for a series of water desalination projects in Egypt.

The MoU was signed with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Communities represented by the New Urban Communities Authority; Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW); and Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy represented by Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.

The projects will be powered by solar and wind, or a combination of both renewable energy sources. Upon completion, the studies will be submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Communities and Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.

“ACWA Power is delighted to utilize its well demonstrated capability in reliably and responsibly delivering renewable energy and desalinated water at the lowest possible cost to support the ambition of the Government of Egypt to leverage the considerable renewable energy sources available to also decarbonize and reduce the cost of much needed desalinated water all the while ensuring the availability of adequate potable water to ensure the wellbeing of the people and the expansion of economic activity. As we continue to expand our investments in the country, the execution of this MoU also signifies the trust being placed on us by the Government of Egypt,” said Paddy Padmanathan, Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power.

The Memorandum of Understanding communicates ACWA Power’s role in conducting a preliminary study as well as a feasibility study to initiate a series of water desalination projects powered by renewable energy in Egypt. Upon completion, the two studies will be submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, Urban Communities and the Egyptian Electricity Holding to determine next steps on the projects based on the final results.

The MoU was signed by Eng. Abdulmutallab Mamdouh, Vice-President of the New Urban Communities Authority on behalf of the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities; Eng. Mamdouh Raslan, Chairman of HCWW; Eng. Gaber Desoki Mostafa Ibrahim, Chairman of Egyptian Electricity Holding; Eng. Hassan Amin, Country Director of ACWA Power – Egypt; and Mr. Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer at ACWA Power.

“The company seeks towards relying on clean energy sources in water desalination, an important step in the company’s path, through harnessing the latest technologies that we use in our stations today, where the company managed to reduce the renewable energy tariff reducing financial burdens has thus contributed to supporting government goals,” said Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of ACWA Power.

“We are proud of our contribution to achieving the Egyptian government's vision towards establishing sustainable infrastructure bases to keep pace with the growing demand for water consumption in Egypt, while preserving its natural resources and enabling it to implement desalination projects at low cost.”

ACWA Power has over the years developed and commissioned a series of water desalination projects and renewable energy power plants around the world.

The company is currently developing the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in Abu Dhabi – UAE, with a production capacity of 909 m3/day. The company is also the largest water and electricity producer in the Sultanate of Oman and generates 40% of desalinated water in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In Egypt, ACWA Power currently leads on a number of renewable energy projects including: Benban PV IPP in Aswan, with a production capacity of 120 MW and total investment of $190 million; and Kom Ombo PV with a production capacity of 200 MW.

On the traditional energy front, ACWA Power is working on a combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Luxor which will produce 2250 MW at a cost of over $2 billion.

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