August 4, 2008

French Utility Giant to Develop Power Project in UAE: Report

French utility giant to develop power project in UAE: report

ABU DHABI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- A French utility giant has planned to participate in the development of a major power project in Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE), local newspaper Gulf News reported on Friday.

The Paris-based GDF SUEZ, the world's second largest utility company, will own 40 percent of the stake of the project, the Shuweihat 2 power generation and water desalination plant, while the remaining stake of the plant will be held by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) that had issued the tender, according to the report.

GDF SUEZ has signed a 20-year power and water purchase deal with Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company, an affiliate of ADWEA, which will be the sole off-taker of the output in the Shuweihat 2 plant.

The Shuweihat 2, which will be located at the western part of Abu Dhabi emirate, will have a capacity to generate 1,500 megawatt of power and 100 million gallons of water per day when completed in 2011.

"With Shuweihat 2, we now have 10 plants in our Middle East portfolio, the majority combining power and desalination. They represent over 12,000 megawatt of electricity and two million cubic meters of water per day," said Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of GDF SUEZ Energy International.

Abu Dhabi is pursuing a policy of independent water and power projects and has roped in foreign companies to build and operate utility facilities.

The emirate aims to raise power generation capacity by 35 percent over the next five years, with demand for power rising by almost 80 percent by 2012, according to GDF SUEZ.

Just formed by the merger of Gaz de France and SUEZ on 22 July, GDF SUEZ is one of the leading energy providers in the world, with an active presence across the entire energy value chain, in electricity and natural gas, upstream to downstream.

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