The Abu Dhabi government is inviting international companies to build a water desalination plant in the UAE.
The project is estimated to cost between $600m and $1.2bn, Adil al-Saeedi, acting director of privatisation at the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) said in a media report.
He added that companies are likely to be prequalified by Q2 2018, and a developer will be selected by Q3.
The developer will own up to 40% of a special purpose vehicle that will sign a long-term agreement to sell water to ADWEA, which will directly or indirectly own the rest of the equity in the project, the report said.
With a capacity of 200mn gallon per day, the plant is expected to be one of the biggest in the world once complete.
Currently, the emirate’s water production capacity is around 960mn gallons per day from 10 desalination plants.
Early last year, experts at Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) stated that the emirate will need to double its current investment in desalination by 2030 to avoid a water deficit, due to an increase in population and development.
Nearly half of the emirate’s consumed drinking water comes from desalination, with the UAE being the second largest desalination market, after Saudi Arabia.
The GCC has committed more than $300bn for water and desalination projects between 2012 and 2022.