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Dubai to invest $20bn in power projects

Dubai plans to invest $20 billion in a range of power projects in a move to diversify the UAE emirate’s energy mix by 2030, a senior official said.

Dubai produces very little oil and relies on costly imports of gas to satisfy its growing energy consumption.

The emirate has short-listed eight companies to build a 1,200 MW clean coal power plant.

State utility Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has also put out a tender for the construction of a 100-MW independent solar power project (IPP), part of the emirate’s 2030 energy strategy.

Dewa also plans to expand its existing power production and desalination plant, known as the M-Station, to add about 600 MW of extra capacity, Dewa CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer told Reuters.

“We expect the total investments in those three projects at more than $20 billion,” said Al Tayer, who is also vice chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy.

Al Tayer said Dewa has no plans to issue bonds this year to raise money for the projects.

Another Dewa executive said he expected the cost of the clean coal project, known as the Hassyan power plant, which is expected to come online by 2021, to be more than $2 billion. A more accurate cost estimate will be known by the end of November, when bids from the short-listed companies are expected.

Dewa has short-listed 24 companies for its 100-MW solar project and hopes to evaluate bids by the end of October.

Chinese solar panel maker Yingli Green Energy Holding Company, said in May it was considering taking part in Dubai’s solar energy project.

Like the rest of the Middle East, Dubai lags behind Europe and the US in solar energy, but may eventually build up to 1,000 MW of solar power plants as part of plans to get five per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Solar energy has struggled to take off in the Gulf despite its year-round sunshine, partly because heavily-subsidised fossil fuel makes green investments less attractive than in countries that subsidise renewables.

The UAE is one of the world’s largest oil exporters, producing around 2.8 million barrels per day. But most of the UAE’s crude production is clustered in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, which produces most of the UAE’s oil and holds over 90 percent of its reserves.



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