Japan-US venture top bid for Taweelah project

The Japanese-US alliance of Marubeni Corporation and BPU Ventures is the top bidder for Abu Dhabi's fifth independent water and power project (IWPP)...

The Japanese-US alliance of Marubeni Corporation and BPU Ventures is the top bidder for Abu Dhabi's fifth independent water and power project (IWPP), the estimated US$ 1 billion Taweelah B/C project. A final selection is slated for the end of this summer.

The joint consortium of Belgium's Tractabel and UK's International Power (IP) was a close second. The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) opened the bids on 11 July. "The bids will now be evaluated in detail since they are competitively priced and this will take time," a senior Adwea official said. "We might shortlist the top two bidders as we did in previous IWPPs by end-September and then again have detailed discussions with them before a final selection," he added. Marubeni and BPU's bid was US$ 1.69 billion while Tractabel and IP's bid was US$ 1.59 billion. France's Total and its partner Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) bid was US$ 1.334 billion.

The selected developer will take over the existing Taweelah B plant, which has a power generation capacity of 1,000 MW and 90 million gallons per day (gpd) of water and expand it by adding 1,000 MW of power and 65 million gpd of water.

The existing Taweelah B plant is the only fully government-owned cogeneration plant within the Taweelah complex. Germany's Fichtner is the technical advisor for the project while HSBC is acting as financial advisor. The developers have the financing in place with banks backing them. Financing for the Taweelah B/C is likely to be a combination of debt and equity, similar to Abu Dhabi's earlier IWPPs.

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