TAQA powers on when it comes to its financials. The net income decline primarily came about from one-off provisions. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Fortified by new project wins, Abu Dhabi utility giant TAQA plugged into revenues of Dh13.7 billion for the first three months of 2024, up by a solid 5.3 per cent. This was boosted by contributions from SWS (Sustainable Water Solutions) Holding, which also helped with EBITDA.

TAQA's net income came to Dh2.1 billion, a drop of Dh9.5 billion from one-off items recognised in 2023. (Net income, excluding these one-offs, increased by Dh100 million, which is 6.9 per cent higher than the prior-year period.

"We have delivered a strong operational performance in both power and water," said Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group CEO and Managing Director. "Integrating SWS Holding's expertise in water treatment and reuse will enhance TAQA's position as a vertically integrated utility leader.

"The acquisition also strengthens TAQA's regulated asset base, securing an additional predictable stream of long-term earnings and positioning the company for an even more central role in underpinning water security at home and internationally."

Capex for Q1-2024 was Dh1.7 billion, 60.3 per cent higher than the prior year, because of construction progress in the Mirfa 2 Reverse Osmosis (M2 RO) and Shuweihat 4 Reverse Osmosis (S4 RO) desalination projects.

What's the SWS deal about?

Last year, TAQA agreed to buy 100 per cent of SWS Holding from Abu Dhabi Power Corporation. (The latter is also TAQA’s majority shareholder.)

SWS Holding has 'predictable earnings' and a 'large regulated asset base', making it 'highly complementary' with TAQA’s existing business.

"Combining will create a vertically integrated player with strong capabilities in delivering high-quality water treatment solutions," said a statement. "Whilst the majority of conditions relating to the transaction have been satisfied, certain procedural steps remain outstanding for legal completion to occur."

Under the terms of the transaction, the economic contributions from SWS Holding are to be assumed by TAQA from January 1, 2024, and were reflected in its consolidated accounts for the first time.

TAQA's debt load
Gross debt was Dh62.5 billion, up from AED 61.7 billion at the end of 2023, brought on by 'project debt assumed on the acquisition of SWS Holding'. There was also the investment in expanding the company’s desalination capacity with the development of Mirfa 2 Reverse Osmosis (M2 RO) and Shuweihat 4 Reverse Osmosis (S4 RO) desalination projects.

The Saudi wins

The first quarter also saw TAQA sign up with JERA and SATORP, (a joint venture company owned by Saudi Aramco and TotalEnergies) on a new power and steam cogeneration plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. It was also part of the consortium that won the Juranah project, to support water security in Makkah.

“Through the investments we have made - and as we continue to pursue other aspects of our 2030 growth strategy - TAQA remains committed to our ambition of being a champion of low-carbon power and water," said the CEO.