Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) is calling for companies to express interest in building and operating the latest addition to its fleet of power plants.
The facility in Mirfa, a town about 120km west of Abu Dhabi city, will be run as a public-private partnership, with Adwea holding a 60 per cent stake.
The project was recently signed off by the emirate's Executive Council, and the state utility has wasted little time in initiating the tendering process by inviting expressions of interest.
"[Adwea] formally announces the commencement of a competitive process to select a developer or developer consortium to own 40 per cent of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be incorporated Ö in the Mirfa independent water and power project," says an official letter of invitation from Adwea.
Interested power companies have until the middle of next month to respond.
Once Adwea has chosen the companies, they will be responsible for building the plant and operating it under a build-own-operate contract.
They will be reimbursed for their initial capital outlay with an "off-take agreement" for the plant's output, expected to be from 20 to 25 years.
The facility will have the capacity to generate 1,500 megawatts of electricity, and 53 million gallons per day of desalinated water. It will replace an existing facility that produces about 200MW and is due to come online in 2015.
It is crucial for Adwea to keep up with demand for electricity, which is projected to grow by 11 per cent per annum, said Abdulla Al Nuaimi, the director general at Adwea.
"The proposed site of Mirfa - the latest power and desalination plant to be privatised - represents the ideal solution to meet any expected shortage promptly," he said.
The equipment for the plant will include four General Electric turbines that the Federal Electricity & Water Authority had transferred to Adwea in 2007.