GDF Suez, the newly-formed European energy utility, is to add to its considerable portfolio in the Middle East with the Shuweihat 2 power generation and desalination plant.

The company has won the contract to build and operate Shuweihat 2, a major independent power and water project in Abu Dhabi. The greenfield, natural gas fired installation will have a capacity of 1500 MWe and 454 610 m3/day, and is scheduled for start-up in 2011.

GDF Suez will own 40 per cent of Shuweihat 2, which will sell its output to the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company under a 20 year power and water purchase agreement. The project will bring the utility’s Middle East portfolio to a capacity of 12 000 MWe and 2 million m3/day.

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.

Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of GDF Suez Energy International, commented: “With Shuweihat 2, we now have ten plants in our Middle East portfolio, the majority combining power and desalination. We firmly believe in the energy and water opportunities in the Gulf, which offer long-term off-take contracts within a well-developed legal framework in a region with strong growth.”