World?s largest power and desalination plant starts up its first unit
In July 1995 the first unit of Al Taweelah B power and desalination plant was put into operation in Abu Dhabi, UAE. With a sweet-water production of 76 million gallons per day, it is reported to be the largest desalination plant in the world.
After almost five years of planning and negotiations, H. E. Schaikh Suroor Bin Mohamed al Nahayyan?Water & Electricity Department (WED) of Abu Dhabi chairman?and Kurt Alex?ABB managing director for the Middle East and Africa?eventually signed the (US)$1.7 billion contract in 1992. ABB said that their expertise in managing large, complex international projects was one of the major factors in them being awarded the contract.
At peak times there will be more than 9,000 people from 40 nations working on the site. This is more than 1 percent of Abu Dhabi?s permanent residents. On site there are five camps that can house more than 4,000 workers. Because of the many nationalities employed, each camp has four kitchens to serve the dietary needs of the different ethnic and religious groups.
One of the major criteria of the contract was the first unit had to go into operation 33 months after receipt of the order, and 80 percent of the plant had to be completed at that time. The schedule calls for the plant to be fully operational by May 1996. By that time, Taweelah B will have an electrical output of 732 MW and a water production of 76 million gallons per day.
During construction ABB has 800 of its European employees working in Taweelah. Project management, with 80 employees, is responsible for the control and coordination of supplies, quality control, scheduling and cost control.
It makes no difference which country supplies the materials and components because each part must meet DIN-Standard ISO 9001. The Taweelah project has condensers from Korea, titanium pipes from Russia and electrical equipment from Italy.
Robert Leitenberger (ABB manager on-site, responsible for coordinating all of the subcontractors for the project) said that the customer, WED, is very critical; and if there is any discrepancy, ABB uses neutral institutes or laboratories to clarify the problems.