Abu Dhabi signs loan deal for power and water project
Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) on Saturday, December 1 signed a $1.285 billion loan agreement with a consortium of 25 international and regional banks to finance its third independent water and power project.
The project provides for building a plant at Shuweihat, 250 kilometers (150 miles) west of Abu Dhabi, that will include a gas-fueled 1,500-megawatt power plant and a water desalination facility with a capacity of 100 million imperial gallons per day. The plant is expected to come on stream in 2004.
British energy group International Power and US company CMS Energy, joint developers of the project, will operate and maintain power and desalination operations at the plant for 20 years. The German group Siemens is leading the construction of the plant, which will cost $1.6 billion. The $1.285 billion loan includes an Islamic tranche of $250 million put together by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Kuwait Finance House. Barclays Capital and Citibank lead arranged the conventional loan.
An additional $350 million equity bridge loan, an innovative facility to finance the project, will be brought in by the developers once the project is completed. "The loan, one of the largest for project financing here, has been fully underwritten by 25 banks -- local, regional and international -- which goes to show the confidence in the region," Shuweihat project director Abdullah Saif al-Nuaimi told reporters after the signing ceremony. "We remain committed to privatization," he said.
Abu Dhabi has allowed private sector participation in two earlier projects since it embarked on privatization of its utilities in 1997. — (AFP, Abu Dhabi)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)