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Adwea, Sembcorp to ink deal to privatise Fujairah's UWEC

BY HASEEB HAIDER / 9 April 2006

ABU DHABI — After obtaining clearance from the Abu Dhabi Executive Council (ADEC) last week, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) is preparing legal documents to sign a Water and Power Purchase Agreement (WPPA) with Singapore's Sembcorp Utilities for the privatisation of Fujairah-based Union Electricity Water Company (UWEC).

"This would be second last stage for the process of privatisation to take its course with the winner of

the highest bid, the agreement will be signed by the end of April," said Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi Director

(Privatisation) Adwea told reporters at the sidelines of one-day international conference on 'Privatisation of Infrastructure Facilities: Challenges and Opportunities.'

Al Nuaimi said that Singapore-based company Sembcorp Utilities, which offered $1.3438 billion, emerged as top bidder for the privatisation of Fujariah-based power plant run by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea).

Adwea had received four bids for the power plant, which has the electricity generation capacity of 650 megawatt and seawater desalination capacity of 100 million imperial gallon per day (MIGD). The new owner will also add 200 mw of new power generation capacity.

A total of four bidders participated in the bidding process of the Independent Water and Power Plant (IWPP) which is sixth in the line. Earlier, Adwea successfully privatised its five power projects in the emirate.

Speaking to the delegates, Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi in his key note speech said that Abu Dhabi has raised Dh40 billion from the sell-out of its electricity and water infrastructure. He said that now 7000 megawatt of electric power and 500 million gallon per day water is being produced by the vibrant private sector, opening new avenues of economic development and prosperity in the country.

He was of the view that Abu Dhabi will offer more opportunities in the medium term, as new power and water capacity is added in line with the sector vision of private sector participation.

He said that Adwea's privatisation process has been fair, transperent and well-managed. "We have maintained such a process since we began our IWPP programme in 1997 and I assure you that we will continue to do so," he said. The conference which was opened in the presence of Shaikh Diab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman, Adwea, Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), senior government officials and private sector experts from GCC and the Middle East. The conference discussed the impact of privatisation on economic development, how nations can benefit from the successful experience of other nations to make the process not only more transparent, but for better economic gains.

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