Spanish group Coxabengoa, a vertically integrated global water and energy utility, has kicked off commercial operations at Taweelah desalination plant in Abu Dhabi following the successful completion of final tests by its key unit Abengoa Water.

The Taweelah plant, it stated, has successfully passed rigorous final performance tests, thus marking the start of commercial operation of the full plant (phase one + phase two) at full production, a crucial step prior to delivery to the customer.

According to the Spanish group, Abengoa Water has successfully completed the final tests of the commercial operation phase of the complete Taweelah desalination plant (phase one + phase two).

For 30 consecutive days, the plant has passed the final performance tests, demonstrating its capacity by desalinating 204 million gallons in a single day, exceeding the planned capacity by 2%.

Following the contractual tests, the plant has now been handed over to the project company 'Taweelah RO Desalination Company, a joint venture between leading Abu Dhabi companies Taqa and Mubadala as well as Acwa Power, a leading Saudi company in the development, investment, ownership and operation of power generation and desalinated water production plants, which is the main promoter.

It is currently the largest reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant in the world in operation with a daily output of 909,218 cu m and stands out for its exceptional energy efficiency, with specific consumption lower than expected, said Coxabengoa in its statement.

The Taweelah desalination plant guarantees supply to the city of Abu Dhabi (approximately four and a half million people) throughout the year. It is also the emirate's first large-scale plant to combine the production of drinking water with the generation of clean energy, thanks to the installation of a photovoltaic solar field with a capacity of more than 70 MWp, it stated.

This project, located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, is part of the plan developed by the UAE government to encourage private participation in the development of the country's infrastructures.

Abengoa Water said its scope of work for the Taweelah project included design, engineering, supply of the main equipment, supervision of assembly, commissioning of the reverse osmosis and post-treatment systems, advice on the pre-treatment processes carried out by third parties and operation of the plant until handover.

All in all, the Taweelah desalination plant meets each one of the drinking water parameters required by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, including hardness, alkalinity, LSI (Langelier Saturation Index), SDI (Silt density Index), pH and boron content, it added. 

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