GDF Suez says that its ability to secure financing for the Shuweihat 2 power and desalination project in Abu Dhabi reflect the strength of its consortium and the importance of the project to the emirate.

The European utility has secured a $900 million financing facility for the project, which is being built by a consortium comprising Siemens, Doosan and Samsung. GDF Suez says that Shuweihat 2 issued a Notice to Proceed for construction of the plant in December 2008.

“The success of this financing is evidence of the confidence of the banking community in the strength of our consortium, the project and in particular in Abu Dhabi, where power and water demand continue to increase,” said Shankar Krishnamoorthy, the newly appointed CEO of Middle East & North Africa for GDF SUEZ Energy International.

The lenders to the deal include Bayern LB, Calyon, KfW, Natixis, National Bank of Abu Dhabu and Standard Chartered. GDF Suez owns 40 per cent of Shuweihat 2 while the remaining 60 per cent is owned by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea).

Shuweihat 2 will help the United Arab Emirates to meet soaring power demand. The emirate of Abu Dhabi, where demand for power is forecast to rise by 80 per cent over the next four years, is aiming to increase power generation capacity by 35 per cent by 2013.

Shuweihat 2 is scheduled for completion in 2011 and will supply Abu Dhabi with 1500 MW of electricity and 454 610 m2/day of water. The Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Company (Adwec), an affiliate of Adwea, is the sole offtaker of the plant’s output under a 25-year power and water purchase agreement.