Consultants advise DEWA on water desalination deal with ACWA Power

25 October 2023 2 min. read

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has completed a major deal with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power for phase 1 of the Hassyan sea water desalination project, the world’s largest renewable energy powered desalination plant.

The closing of the deal caps a one-year procurement and transaction process for DEWA, which launched its Expression of Interest to the market in August 2022. Around 30 parties were initially engaged, and following a rigorous qualification process, six international bidders where selected to send in a proposal.

In August, DEWA announced that it had selected ACWA Power as the preferred bidder of the contract for phase 1 of the project. Earlier this week, the transaction reached its commercial close.

Consultants advise DEWA on water desalination deal with ACWA Power

The Hassyan water desalination plant in Dubai will have a capacity of 120 million imperial gallons per day.

ACWA Power won the bid thanks to its capabilities in the field and pledge to deliver the project with a water levelized tariff of $0.36536 /cubic metre of desalinated water – which would make it the world’s most efficient desalination facility using sea water reverse osmosis technology powered by solar energy.

The project involves the construction and operation of a 180 million Imperial Gallon per Day (MIGD) desalination facility located within the Hassyan area on the Arabian Gulf coast in Dubai, approximately 55 kilometres to the south-west of the Dubai Creek.

At an estimated cost of 3.357 billion UAE dirhams ($914 million), the desalination project is the largest of its kind. Phase 1, which is scheduled to start operations in 2026, will increase Dubai’s water desalination capacity from 490 MIGD to 670 MIGD.

The project is part of DEWA’s efforts to increase its water desalination capacity to 730 MIGD by 2030, in support of Dubai’s economic and population growth and in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.

The dealmakers

During the commercial and transaction process, DEWA was supported by Deloitte (financial advisor), WSP (technical advisor), and Addleshaw Goddard (legal advisor).

The Deloitte team was led by Vishal Rander, supported by Sudarshan TM, Anurav Jain and Maha Kabtni. The WSP team was led by Ashwani Sachar, supported by Kumar Sandeep and Swati Mishra. The Addleshaw Goddard team was led by Dubai-based partner Alexander Sarac, supported by partner Robin Hickman, managing associate Philip Chalmers and associate Ryan Ogg.

Commenting on the joint effort, Alexander Sarac, a partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “We wish to congratulate the entire DEWA team for having reached commercial close on this significant project. We were honoured and pleased to act as legal advisor to DEWA on this project, together with the excellent teams of Deloitte and WSP, who played a fantastic role in getting it into the market and reaching commercial close in such a short timeframe.”