Qatar Electricity and Water Company closes Abu Fontas desalination plant

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Qatar Electricity and Water Company closes Abu Fontas desalination plant

The Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) signed on 29 September 2013 a US$450 million finance documentation with a consortium of four local banks to finance Qatar's US$500 million RAF A2 Desalination Plant under construction at Ras Abu Fontas.

The consortium of banks comprise QNB Group, Barwa Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Islamic Bank. 

QNB Group, as the lead arranger will provide a US$162 million conventional debt tranche, a US$18 million conventional standby facility as well as conventional interest rate hedging. Barwa Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Islamic Bank as Islamic mandated lead arrangers will each provide US$90 million under an Islamic facility tranche totalling US$270 million as well as Islamic hedging.

HSBC and Norton Rose Fulbright LLP are acting respectively as Financial and Legal Advisers to QEWC. Simmons & Simmons are acting as Legal Adviser to the project financiers.

The project was awarded to a consortium led by Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation and the Toyo Thai Corporation Public Company Limited (TTCL) to build the desalination plant. Under the full turnkey contract, the consortium will carry out the project in its entirety, from engineering, civil work and procurement through to erection and commissioning.

Mitsubishi is working in tandem with the Hitachi Zosen Corporation to install the desalination plant facilities, whereas TTCL is responsible for all of the remaining plant facilities, including seawater intake and boiler installations. The project is scheduled to be completed and commissioned by June 2015.

The 36 MIGD (160,000 m³/d) of desalinated water produced by the multi-stage flash plant will be supplied to Kahramaa, Qatar's longstanding national power and water grid operator. In actual fact, to fulfil the expected future demand for water, a number of new infrastructural development projects are being undertaken by Kahramaa, and the construction of the Ras Abu Fontas A2 Desalination plant is just one component of QEWCs plan to meet this demand.

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