Dubai power demand jumped 6% in Q2 to highest peak in eight years, Dewa chief says

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority commissions first unit of Hassyan coal plant to boost power supply

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - October 09, 2019: Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). World Green Economy Summit press conference. Wednesday the 9th of October 2019. Madinat Jumeirah Conference & Events Centre, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Power demand in Dubai jumped 6 per cent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, due to peak summer demand as well as Covid-19 related movement restrictions, according to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's chief executive.

“We have seen the highest peak in the second quarter compared to last year and reached nearly 9000 megawatts compared to 8500 last year,” Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer told reporters during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

The increase marked "the highest peak" since 2012, Mr Al Tayer said.

Dubai introduced movement restrictions in the second quarter to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Dewa provided uninterrupted service to its more than one million customers in the period, he said.

The utility company, which employs more than 6000 people, operated in a seamless manner in the wake of the pandemic due to “steps taken by Dewa towards digitalisation and acceleration of digital project,” Mr Al Tayer said.

“The operation remained in shift work without any adverse impact.”

Dewa will spend Dh86 billion ($23bn) in the next five years on new projects, transmission and distribution-related work as well as renewable energy schemes, with 50 per cent of financing coming through public private partnerships, Mr Al Tayer said.

Dubai plans to derive three-quarters of its total power capacity from clean sources by 2050, with the massive Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park expected to reach 5GW capacity by 2030.

It is also building a 2.4 gigawatt clean coal power plant in Hassyan close to Dubai's border with Abu Dhabi, which will be fully-operational by 2023.

Mr Al Tayer said the first unit of the coal plant has been commissioned and the remaining three units will “come in due course.”

“We have to ensure that we have security of supply,” he said of the coal plant. “What we have here is a different technology. This technology we call it ultra-super critical technology with emissions being lowest compared to European, the US (coal plants).”

The coal project is a joint venture between Acwa Power, Harbin Holding Company and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Dewa is also undertaking the development of a 250MW hydroelectric power plant – the GCC's first – at Hatta. It awarded construction contracts to a consortium comprising Strabag and its Dubai affiliate as well as Andritz Hydro and Ozkar.