Power and Water Landscape in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

Power and Water Landscape in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

I will start by commending the highly successful privatization drive of the power and water infrastructure by the Government of Abu Dhabi and briefly touching upon the formation of various players making their very positive contribution to make it possible.

It all started in 1996 when a Privatization Committee was formed through an Emiri (Royal) Decree to unbundle the existing Power and Water Infrastructure by following the IPP/IWPP model with a clearly marked Government and Private Sector Shareholding of 60% and 40% respectively. From 1998 onwards, various Government Departments were formulated to bolster the Privatization Drive as detailed below:

ADWEA - Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority ( http://adwea.ae/en )

ADWEA's main job was to drive the privatization process to unbundle the existing assets as well as develop new power and water capacity/assets in the IPP/IWPP environment. Since the incorporation of the first flagship IWPP in 2000, the Taweelah A2 Plant, and now with the privatization of Mirfa Plant (Financial Close in October 2014), ADWEA has completed unbundling all its existing assets as well developing the new capacity as per the demand forecasts made earlier. The details of all these Power and Plants in IWPP environment are shown in ADWEA website as Privatization Companies:http://adwea.ae/en/about-us/our-partners.aspx(Mirfa Plant is though still shown as ADWEA Subsidiary but it would soon be moved to ‘Our Partners' category as it had already been privatized).

RSB - Regulation & Supervision Bureau ( http://rsb.gov.ae/ )

RSB is the ‘Regulator' responsible for issuing and maintaining the Licenses of the IPPs/IWPPs and also initiate various drives to strengthen the Operation and Maintenance of these privatized Assets. Details of RSB's role and responsibility could be seen on their website.

Transco - Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company ( http://www.transco.ae/ )

As the name implies, TRANSO has been formulated to manage the System Demand and Supply. Even though IWPPs main Power and Water Purchase Agreements are with ADWEC, they deal with TRANSCO on day to day basis under Transmission, Planning, and Metering Codes for supplying the Power and Water as they requirements comes from TRANSCO. Their roles and responsibilities are clearly identified on their Website.

ADWEC - Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company ( http://adwec.ae/ )

ADWEC's role is equally crucial for they are responsible for the Sale and Purchase of the Electricity and Water form these IPPs/IWPPs and thus do the financial settlement in addition to participate in giving their technical and commercial input during the privatization process lead by ADWEA. ADWEC is also instrumental in negotiating new contracts when it comes to capacity enhancement through existing plant extension. Moreover, ADWEC is also playing its most pivotal role with the help of TRANSCO to provide the Demand Side forecast for ADWEA to manage the Supply Side by adding the required capacity over time to best match the two. Please refer to their website for details especially on ‘Planning & Studies' for most valuable information on existing and future capacity requirements.

Abu Dhabi Distribution Company ( http://addc.ae/enindex.html ) and Al Ain Distribution Company ( http://www.aadc.ae/en/Default.aspx )

Two Power Distribution Companies named Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) and Al Ain Distribution Companies (AADC) had been formed to manage the Power and Water Supplies to the End Users in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the City of Gardens, Al Ain.

TAQA - Abu Dhabi National Energy Company ( http://www.taqaglobal.com/ )

TAQA was formed in June 2005 and given ADWEA's 90% shareholding in all the IPPs/IWPPs (ADWEA owns 60% in each IWPP, so 90% of 60% i.e. 54% is now owned by TAQA). In addition to Power generation & Water Desalination, TAQA was also mandated to spearhead investments in Oil & Gas Exploration/Production including Pipelines, and underground Gas Storage. Please refer to their website especially ‘ TAQA at a Glance ' for their template review.http://www.taqaglobal.com/about-us/taqa-at-a-glance?sc_lang=en

Even though TAQA owns 54% Shares of all the IPPs/IWPPS in Abu Dhabi, historically they played more of a passive role but lately they have started increasing their footprint being in the Board and embarking on some Asset Management initiatives to enhance productivity and long term maintenance of their Assets for better Capacity, Efficiency, and Output.

Al Etihad and Al Watba Waste Water Treatment Companies

ADWEA now also owns two Waste Water Treatment Companies as detailed in their website:http://adwea.ae/en/about-us/our-partners.aspx

ENEC - Emirates Nuclear Energy Company ( http://www.enec.gov.ae/ )

ENEC was formed through an Emiri Decree in December 2009 to implement the UAEnuclear energyprogram to produce electricity, support economic development, and provide opportunity for the people of the nation.

Since energy demand in the UAE is growing at an annual rate of about 9 per cent - three times the global average, it was envisioned by the leadership to develop a reliable supply of electricity that's crucial to the future growth of the Nation.

ENEC has a target of delivering electricity (first unit around 1000 MW) to the UAE grid in 2017. By 2020, it is projected that nuclear energy will produce nearly a quarter (5600 MWs) of the nation's electricity needs expected to be around 21,000 MWs (base demand by ADWEC forecast -http://adwec.ae/documents/7year/2008sfcr.pdf).

MASDAR - Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company http://www.masdar.ae/en/#masdar

I couldn't have described in better, so I am borrowing these words from MASDAR's very articulately crafted website. MASDAR is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Government-owned Mubadala Development Company and guided by Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, a program that is driving the new sources of income for the emirate and strengthening Abu Dhabi's knowledge-based economic sectors.

Masdar comprises three business units--including Masdar Capital, Masdar Clean Energy and Masdar City and is complemented by Masdar Institute, an independent, research-driven graduate university. This holistic approach keeps Masdar at the forefront of the global clean energy industry, while ensuring it remains grounded in the pursuit of pioneering and commercially-viable technologies and systems. With each unit focused on a key component of the value chain, Masdar operates with the broad scope needed to meet the most pressing sustainability challenges of tomorrow.

IRENA - The International Renewable Energy Agency Headquarters http://www.irena.org/home/index.aspx?PriMenuID=12&mnu=Pri )

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a center of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy and is now headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

Shams Solar Plant ( http://shamspower.ae/en/ )

Shams1 is the first CSP based 100 MW Solar Power Plant being the first in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Shams2 is also on the way highlighting the unmatched commitment of the leadership with the Renewable Technology. For further details, please refer to their website.

Future Outlook

Future is for sure for the Renewables. However, in the short and medium term whilst Renewables Developers are aggressively striving to develop their technology at mass scale to cater to huge demand, conventional power generation technology would surely stay in business.

Abu Dhabi and neighboring big Emirates i.e. Dubai and Sharjah are still running their Power and Water Assets through Government owned Utilities called DEWA (http://www.dewa.gov.ae) and SEWA (https://www.sewa.gov.ae/en/) respectively. Dubai for sure has already advertised the future expansion plans by pursuing Renewables and lots of initiatives have already been announced by the Leadership.


about author: Tauseef H. Farooqi -Mr. Tauseef is an Electrical Engineer and an MBA with over 22 years experience in the Power Sector. Mr. Tauseef has served with UAE's first and the third IWPP i.e. Emirates CMS Power Company and Shuweihat CMS International Power Company as Commercial Manager. After successfully spearheading the Commercial activities in these Plants, Mr. Tauseef joined TAPCO. Before coming to UAE, Mr. Tauseef has served in the Technical, Finance and Commercial Departments of Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan (WAPDA), and also headed the Commercial Department of Pakistan's biggest Power Plant known as Kot Addu Power Plant, a 1500 MW Combined Cycle Plant.You can read all his blogs herehttp://linkd.in/1GuF7jZ