The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has received 29 expressions of interest for the first phase of the Hassyan seawater reverse osmosis plant in the emirate, as it works to provide residents with more desalinated water through sustainable and cost-efficient means.
The plant, which will have a capacity of 120 million gallons per day, will be the utility's first to operate on the independent water producer model. It is expected to launch in phases in 2025 and 2026, state news agency Wam reported on Saturday.
Increasing operational efficiency in decoupling desalination from electricity production will save about Dh13 billion and reduce carbon emissions by 2030, said Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dewa.
"According to our plans, 100 per cent of desalinated water will be produced by a mix of clean energy that uses both renewable energy and waste heat. This will allow Dubai to exceed global targets for using clean energy to desalinate water," he said.
The UAE depends heavily on desalination to supply water for drinking and industrial purposes.
Up to 42 per cent of the UAE's potable water comes from about 70 major desalination plants. These account for about 14 per cent of the world's total production of desalinated water, government data shows.
The Jebel Ali power station is one of the major desalination centres in the UAE. Others include the Shuweihat S2 power and water plant in Abu Dhabi, the F2 plant in Fujairah and the $797 million Naqa’a plant in Umm Al Quwain.
The UAE also launched the Water Security Strategy 2036 in 2017, aimed at reducing total demand on water resources by 21 per cent, increasing the reuse of treated water to 95 per cent and developing a storage capacity for more than 45 days in extreme emergencies.
The Hassyan complex is part of Dewa's efforts to promote sustainable development in Dubai, "in line with the integrated strategy for managing water resources and using the latest technologies and innovative solutions", Mr Al Tayer said.
In September, Dewa signed a partnership agreement with Dutch start-up Desolenator to build a carbon-neutral water purification and desalination system that is completely powered by solar energy.
Dewa has appointed several companies, including Deloitte, WSP and Addleshaw Goddard, to provide consultancy services for the desalination project at Hassyan.
Dubai has earmarked Dh40 billion ($10.9 billion) for investments in electricity and water projects over the next five years, which will focus on renewables, clean energy, electricity and water transmission and distribution networks to meet growing demand in the emirate.