Dubai’s utilities sector will require Dh86 billion investment over the next five years, with 45 per cent of it coming from the private sector, according to the chief executive and managing director of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).
"There are works, for example distribution projects, transportation, reservoirs and other civil works. [For] this we need to invest about 55 per cent of the Dh86bn. This means that around Dh45bn will be self-financed for the next five years, from 2019," Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer told The National.
Dubai’s state utility earmarked Dh8bn for 2018 in developing energy projects. The emirate aims to generate 25 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050 as part of its clean energy drive. Dewa is also building the world’s largest solar energy park in the Dubai desert amid plans to reduce reliance on natural gas as the main source of energy for electricity. The Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park, which is expected to generate 5000MW of electricity by 2030 is currently in its fourth phase of development. The independent power producer contract for the fifth phase of the scheme, which involves 900MW capacity addition, will be tendered within seven months, Mr Al Tayer said.
"Presently, we just awarded the consultancy and services for this project. Once they complete the study, maybe it will take nearly about seven months, I hope in the fourth quarter,” he added.
The park’s solar tower - the highest in the world at 260 metres when built - will also take shape this year, with around 40m being built above the ground.
"In three months you’ll see the tower at 40m. The tower will produce 100MW but the parabolic technology will have another 600MW capacity and the whole project will finish in three years,” said Mr Al Tayer.
Dubai’s utility is also evaluating bids for the Gulf region’s first hydroelectric power plant at Hatta with a 250MW capacity with awards for the scheme expected in “three months”
“This is the first in the Gulf, a hydro plant. [It] consists of two turbines, each one of them a 125MW and within 90 seconds we’ll reach the grid. [This is a] very efficient plant and payback period will be two years and very reliable plant and very clean energy,” said Mr Al Tayer.
Completion of the scheme following the award in the third quarter will take “more than four years”, he added citing the complexity of the project.
The first phase of Dubai’s 2400MW clean coal project is currently under construction with the plant set for testing by 2021, said Mr Al Tayer. The scheme is being developed on the coast along with a consortium of Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and China’s Harbin Electric.