Dubai's planned Dh40 billion ($10.9bn) investment in electricity and water projects over the next five years will focus on renewables, clean energy, electricity and water transmission and distribution networks to meet growing demand in the emirate.
The new investment will cover the Hassyan Power Complex and water projects at Hassyan, in addition to completing other continuing projects in infrastructure and smart systems, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said in a statement on Wednesday.
The investment plans, announced in April, come as energy demand in Dubai continues to grow, increasing 6.3 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2022, driven by sustained economic recovery in the emirate, Dewa said this week.
“Dewa plans to invest about Dh16bn to strengthen and expand electricity and water transmission and distribution networks and about Dh12bn to complete the Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park,” said Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive ofDewa.
A further Dh3bn will be invested to expand Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), which is 70 per cent owned by Dewa.
This investment will be dedicated mainly to expand district cooling capacity and network.
“We are working to provide an advanced infrastructure that meets the requirements of sustainable development,” said Mr Al Tayer.
Dubai’s electricity and water demand are surging amid strong economic recovery in the emirate.
Business activity in its non-oil private sector improved at its quickest pace in three years last month, as new orders rose sharply despite inflationary pressures.
Demand for energy in the emirate during the first six months of this year reached 23,096 gigawatt hours compared with 21,729 gigawatt hours in the same period last year.
Dewa's capacity reached 14,117 megawatts of electricity and 490 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day, it said this week.
It currently provides services to more than 3.5 million Dubai residents and the emirate’s active daytime population of more than 4.7 million.
These numbers are expected to grow to 5.8 million and 7.8 million, respectively, by 2040, Dewa said.
The latest plans are also aimed at promoting the favourable and supportive investment environment in Dubai, Dewa said.
The utility is taking steps to boost co-operation between the public and private sectors and provide promising investment opportunities, Mr Al Tayer said.
“We have strategic partnerships with various local and international companies to implement renewable energy and water desalination projects according to the IPP model,” he said.
The utility is currently implementing Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and Dubai’s Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050, as part of which the emirate aims to ensure 100 per cent of energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.
Dewa is developing the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar project in the world, which will have a capacity of 5,000 megawatts upon completion in 2030, with a total investment of Dh50bn.
The digital arm of Dewa also broke ground on the first phase of the largest solar-powered data centre in the Middle East and Africa in December.
The carbon-neutral green centre, with a capacity exceeding 100MW, will be run by Moro Hub, a subsidiary of Digital Dewa, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and will use 100 per cent renewable energy.
“Dewa will continue to invest and enhance renewables’ generation capacity, through informed plans based on the latest tools for future foresight, in order to meet the increasing demand for electricity and water,” Mr Al Tayer said.