Dewa kick-starts power expansion plans with Dh500 million energy plant

The complex has been built with an eye for the future and can meet six times the size of the existing power network.

Left to right, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority chief executive, demonstrates a model of the complex to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, during the inauguration of Dewa’s Warsan Complex in Dubai yesterday. Sarah Dea /The National
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DUBAI // A Dh500 million energy plant that will significantly boost Dewa’s ability to manage and distribute power has been opened.

The 27,011 kilovolt (kV) Warsan Complex and Al Qusais control centres, which feature advanced transmission and distribution command centres, were opened by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, on Wednesday.

The centres are part of a wider multibillion-dirham strategy to improve power production and efficiency across Dubai’s power network.

The five-year Dh7 billion Smart Networks and Meters Project is also under way, which will eventually see one million residential meters upgraded to a digital system from the existing mechanical meters.

“The control centre at Warsan will play a key role in the strategic, economic and industrial expansion zones of the emirate of Dubai by ensuring power supply continuity through Dubai networks in coordination with adjacent emirates,” said Saeed Al Tayer, chief executive and managing director of Dewa.

The complex was built with an eye to the future and can meet six times the size of the existing power demand.

Although part of the same complex, the transmission and distribution centres have been kept separate to allow for continued operation if one site has problems.

One centre controls power generation and transmission of the 132/400kV networks and it manages power generation with Jebel Ali Power Station.

The other control centre monitors and manages the networks to maintain continual improvement, said Dewa.

The centres will greatly reduce the number of minutes customers are without power after a blackout due to the new power management systems.

“The opening of the Warsan complex updates and automates our systems and meets the needs of urban-expansion projects and growing demand for electricity and water services,” said Mr Al Tayer.

The two centres will monitor electricity use to quickly deal with emergency cases or blackouts.

So far, 20,000 new residential digital meters have been upgraded and activated. A further 100,000 have been installed but are yet to be added to the network.

“This will be of huge benefit to consumers because it will instantly cut the time it takes for a meter to be set up,” said Mr Al Tayer.

These new meters will be linked directly to the central control centre, which will mean people will no longer have to wait for a Dewa official to physically switch on the service.

“People who change apartments have to wait about eight hours for their water and electricity to be turned on at their new apartment,” said Mr Al Tayer. “With the new meters, it will be almost instantaneous.”

The new infrastructure is part of a Dh100bn series of projects and resources aimed at upgrading and improving Dewa’s water and electricity network, he said.

An independent consultant has been appointed, and the second phase of improvements is expected to start soon.

As demand for power from industry and residents increases, it was important for Dewa to keep pace, said Ahmad Al Muhairi, secretary general of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

“We are seeing more and more demand for energy and it’s important that we meet that demand,” he said.

The Warsan Complex and Dewa’s efforts to improve its network were praised by Sheikh Hamdan, who remotely opened the Dh29m Al Qusais Control Centre from the Warsan facility.

“Dewa’s projects are the life, essence and backbone of Dubai’s infrastructure,” he said.

The Warsan Complex is spread over 60.4 square metres and includes two transmission and distribution control centres and a 40 sq m administrative building capable of accommodating up to 2,350 employees.