Abu Dhabi desalination project obtains world’s first sustainable loan

12 Mar 2020
Abu Dhabi desalination project obtains world’s first sustainable loan

Taweelah independent water project will be world’s largest reverse osmosis (RO) plant when commissioned in 2022

Saudi utilities developer Acwa Power has announced that the Taweelah independent water producer (IWP) project in Abu Dhabi has obtained the world’s first “sustainable loan” for a desalination project.

The $758m loan, with a tenor of 32.4 years, will finance the 200 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD) Taweelah IWP project, which will be the largest reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant in the world when completed in 2022.

The sustainability credentials of the loan, aligned with the Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles, were independently verified by Vigeo Eiris.

France’s Natixis was initial mandated lead arranger, documentation bank, hedge provider, global facility agent and sustainable loan coordinator. The French bank also acted as sole arranger and investment agent under the Islamic equity bridge loan for Acwa Power’s equity portion.

The Taweelah project, which will also have a 68MW photovoltaic (PV) solar component, reached financial close in September last year.

Acwa Power is the lead developer and 40 per cent shareholder in the project, with the Abu Dhabi government holding the remaining 60 per cent through Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and Mubadala Development Corporation.

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