Masdar to jointly bid on desalination projects using special purpose vehicle

Abu Dhabi organisation Masdar may have invested billions of dollars to date into renewable energy projects but it could soon be investing and bidding on international water tenders...

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ABU DHABI – Abu Dhabi organisation Masdar may have invested billions of dollars to date into renewable energy projects but it could soon be investing and bidding on international water tenders.

Following desalination trials at Ghantoot in which Masdar has partnered with five companies, the organisation has said it plans to co-create special purpose vehicles (SPVs) with the partners to bid on desalination projects.

As can be seen in the video interview above (from 6.49), Mohammad Abdelqader El Ramahi, direct of asset management, engineering & operations at Masdar told WWi that: “For the next step, we are most probably going to establish SPVs – special purpose vehicles based on JV (joint ventures) – between us and the successful partners who meet the required criteria and parameters, both commercial and technical, and then address the global market.

“We will be competing in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the GCC – there are many projects coming in Saudi Arabia for example and in the MENA region. There will be new tenders launched in North Africa like Algeria and in the US and Australia.”

El Ramahi said the joint bids would be based on “renewable energy powered desalination solutions”

He said that the trials have been “promising” but that the preliminary results will be published jointly in June-July.

Solar

Bright prospects: Four of the Ghantoot trials are addressing utility scale desalination while a fifth is looking at off-grid, solar powered desalination for rural environments

Meanwhile in a separate interview the president of French firm Mascara said the company’s 40 m3/day solar powered desalination unit had achieved an energy consumption rate of 3-3.3 kilowatt hour per cubic metre (kWh/m3) at the Ghantoot site (read article).

While Masdar has evolved from Abu Dhabi to become a developer of international energy projects, including wind projects in the UK and Spain, this would be its first venture into desalination tenders.

Recently celebrating its 10th Year anniversary, Masdar has invested $2.7 billion into renewable energy since its inception but has plans to expands its energy footprint into the Indian, Pakistan and Algerian markets.

Mohammad El Ramahi

El Ramahi (above) said the Ghantoot programme is “not an objective on its own: we are not an R&D facility – our sister Masdar Institute is. We are an RDT facility (research & development transformation). We want to take this innovative technology to the next frontier and the next level of commercialisation.”

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Read/watch more

Life after Ghantoot: Solar powered desalination footprint to be expanded by Mascara

VIDEO: Solar powered desalination results from Ghantoot

Solar desalination project confirmed as fifth Masdar trial in Abu Dhabi

Scaling up the Middle East’s renewable desalination

Large scale solar desalination race continues in the Middle East

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