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Work Starts on Masdar City

ArabianBusiness.com
March 1, 2008


Sultan Al Jaber said Masdar City will become the world’s hub for future
energy.The zero carbon city will be home to some 50,000 residents following its
completion in 2016.

Groundbreaking has kicked off on the zero-carbon, zero-waste Masdar City, in Abu
Dhabi, UAE. A virtual cornerstone was laid to mark the occasion.

The 6.5 km mixed-use development is set to be completed in 2016.

At the ceremony held last month, Masdar CEO Sultan Al Jaber revealed a
development budget of US $22 billion for the project.

"We are creating a city where residents and commuters will live the highest
quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint," Al Jaber commented.
"Masdar City will become the world's hub for future energy. By taking
sustainable development to a new level, it will lead the world in understanding
how all future cities should be built.

The majority of the city's electricity will be generated by photovoltaic panels,
while cooling will be supplied via concentrated solar power. A solar-powered
desalination plant will provide water for the 1,500 businesses and 50,000
residents expected to be accommodated at the site. Grey water and treated
wastewater will be used for irrigation. The carbon emissions savings from the
project are set to be monetised under the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism.

At the end of January, Masdar announced it had teamed up with Hydrogen Energy, a
50:50 joint venture between BP Alternative Energy and Rio Tinto, to develop
hydrogen-fuelled power. The parties intend to build a US $2 billion
hydrogen-fired power plant with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, in Abu Dhabi.

The facility would process around 100 million ft3 of natural gas each day,
creating hydrogen and CO2. The hydrogen fuel would be used to generate 420?MW of
low-carbon electricity, while the CO2 would be captured and injected into an
active oil field, where it could replace natural gas, which is currently used to
maintain pressure in the field following oil extraction. This would free up the
natural gas for other more profitable uses, the firms said.

The front-end engineering and design of the plant is due to be completed by the
end of 2008, at a cost of some US $45 million. The decision to proceed with
construction is expected to be taken by early 2009, with startup to follow in 2012.

 

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