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Accession Day 2003 Feature: Electricity and Water

posted on 30/07/2003: 1639 views

President H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is pursuing a sound and balanced policy to provide citizens with the best services, has devoted a lot of attention to the Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority (ADWEA). Since its establishment in 1998, ADWEA has carried out a number of projects which have contributed in providing distinct services in the electricity and water sector.

ADWEA, which has in recent years carried a general reform in its administrative structure to improve upon its services, is fully owned by the Abu-Dhabi government. It is a corporate entity with financial and administrative independence. ADWEA was established according to Law No. 2 in 1998. It is run by a nine-member board of directors, under the chairmanship of Sheikh Dhiyab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Director of the Presidential Court, who has focused on administrative structure and has established it on modern lines, which enabled the Authority to build a reliable and modern geographical database of all its various affiliated bodies.

These include the Planning and Development Department, the Work Support Department, the Privatisation Department and the projects Department. ADWEA has followed scientific methods in job description for its intake of manpower and taking into consideration the qualifications of UAE nationals for the jobs. It has gradually but steadily shifted to what is known as 'digital administration', by introducing the latest technology in its administrative work.

ADWEA has taken a giant stride in the privatisation drive of its sector by entering into joint ventures with foreign companies, which operate and maintain its utilities. ADWEA holds 60 per cent stakes in this partnership, while its foreign partners own the remaining 40 per cent. By this policy, eight companies have been established as per the law, each functioning according to its specialisation. These are the power companies of Taweelah A2, which cost Dh2.7billion and produces 710megawatts of electricity and 50million gallons of water per day, Taweelah A1, which costs Dh5billion and produces 1350megawatts of electricity and 84million gallons of water per day.

The success story of TaweelaA2 reflects positively on the success of the subsequent projects. These great successes were loudly applauded at the local, regional and international levels by the media, including renowned magazines like the MEED, Project Finance and Euro Money. The successes have also won ADWEA a number of international awards and accolades. The privatisation of Shuwaihat S1, which is expected to produce 1500 megawatts of electricity and 100million gallons of water per day, has been very successful.

Although its financing came during a time when the world was going through a difficult business climate caused by the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States, but Abu Dhabi's international reputation in stability drew a number of international banks to complete feverishly to finance the project at a tune of US$1.285billion. 12 local and international banks financed the project, with the local banks providing 40 per cent of the fund.

The Umm al Nar project is expected to follow in the privatisation drive. Targeting a production ceiling of 1,550megawatts of electricity and 95million gallons of water, consultants have prepared the necessary documents for the invitation of tenders. ADWEA is confident of putting into use its previous experience on the Taweelah A1, as well as the Taweelah A2 projects, which is expected to be fully completed in the summer of 2006, to ensure the success of the Umm Al Nar project.

ADWEA has succeeded in attracting to the electricity and water sector huge investments, totalling about Dh22billion, with Dh3billion going to Taweelah A2, Taweelah A1 got Dh5billion, Shuwaihat got Dh6billion, while the Umm Al Nar project received Dhs8billion. By adopting the privatisation policy, the government has been spared the trouble of having to shoulder the responsibility of funding these projects. ADWEA has carried out a number of important projects in the field of production, transportation and distribution of water and electricity.

The expansion of the Taweelah power and water desalination plant was done by using a new technology. This has pushed production up to 308 megawatts and daily production of 23.1 million gallons of water. It consists of two gas units, each with an output of 100 mega watts, and 134 MWs steamer. ADEWA has also executed a water distillery project at Umm al Nar which produces 62.5 million gallons of water per day, in addition to a similar facility in Marfa, which produces 22.5 million gallons of water per day.

In the field of energy transmission, ADWEA has strengthened its electricity transmission network with 400kv, 220kv and 132kv transmission lines. It has also expanded some of its stations, including the execution of its biggest station in Al Ain at a cost of Dh304million. This include a 65-kilometre- line of 400kv and a 55-kilometre-line of 22kv. ADWEA has executed a number of similar electricity transmission projects in Abu Dhabi and Mussafah.

ADWEA has supplied and installed at a total cost of Dh158 million transformers and compact units with a total output of 33 and 11 kilowatts respectively in Al Ain and its suburbs in order to avoid pressure on the main distribution networks during summer. ADWEA has executed a water supply project to Al Ain at a total cost of Dh2billion. The project supplies 76million gallons of water a day to the city from the Taweelah "B" station through a dual pipeline of about 135kilomtres.

ADWEA has also executed several water distribution networks in all the suburbs of Al Ain. This has cost ADWEA Dh130 million. A similar project for the city of Al Ain itself cost ADWEA Dh124million. Another water supply project, which will ensure the supply of five million gallons of water a day from Madinat Zayed to areas like Muzairia and then to West Libya at a total cost of Dh210 million has also been completed. ADWEA has introduced advanced technology in its administrative work to get abreast with the latest administrative development in the advanced world. It has also laid emphasis on the development of its human resources by employing competent UAE citizens to manage its administrative works, in addition to its training and rehabilitation programmes for its UAE national administrative staff.

To ensure the success of the programme, ADWEA was the first local government institution to implement the UNESCO-approved ICDL programme, in collaboration with the Higher Colleges of Technology, where ADWEA administrative staff undergo courses in this programme to acquire skills in the use of digital administration programmes. ADWEA is highly committed to the Emiratisation policy. It is steadily implementing the policy through a well-orchestrated plan. It annually recruits a large number of secondary school graduates with very good grades, who want to pursue their degree courses in the local or international universities.

ADWEA employs these students and reach agreement with those universities to offer them courses and training that suits ADWEA's job skills requirements. ADWEA has set up a very sophisticated laboratory to produce and control water quality in accordance with the international standard of the Word Health Organisation (WHO). It has also set up a laboratory, fully equipped with modern technology and experts that carries out chemical analysis.

This central lab comprises of four major sections, including the microbiology analysis section, organic pollution observation section. There is also an hydraulic lab, which provides physical data of the region, which allows the study of the effects of sea pollutants, like petrol and other chemicals on the distillery so that the right equipment, machinery and agents could be used to treat the water, in addition to a chemical laboratory in every ADWEA water producing company to deal with the water and energy production operations.

ADWEA's efforts reflects the commitment of the UAE to protect the environment, a move which has won the country the applause and admiration of all the countries of the world, leading to the awarding of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan a number of international awards for showing great commitment to the protection of the environment. Before embarking on the construction of any other station, ADWEA always remains committed to presenting the plans and designs of those projects to all the government's environment related bodies, including the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, ERWDA, for their approval.

ADWEA also ensures that other independent energy bodies seeks approval for their projects before execution. Being an executive member and the technical committee of the ERWDA, ADWEA participates in every annual environment exhibitions being held in the country. It also contests with other energy companies, affiliated to the ERWDA, in several environmental protection contests, aimed at encouraging those companies to play meaningful roles in the country's environmental protection drive.

In a show of goodwill, ADWEA took a very good initiative by training 1000 students from the Al Ain Educational Zone on the ICDL programme. This is in line with its commitment to make generous contributions in arming UAE national students with high-tech skills they need in their educational career. ADWEA has also presented a gift of 400 computers to a number of educational institutions, which, ADWEA believes, are in dire need of the computers. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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