30 firms eye Dubai private power plant role
Dubai, February 3, 2010
More than 30 companies have applied to advise Dubai on its first privately-operated power and water plant, the head of government-run utility Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said on Wednesday.
The utility of the cash-strapped emirate said last month it wanted to boost private sector involvement in its power and water sector to save costs. The move marks a policy change for the government, which had until now owned and operated all Dubai's power plants.
Dewa issued a tender last month for firms to advise it on ordering its first privately operated plant, the 1,500 megawatt Hassyan power station.
"More than 30 have applied for Hassyan in an advisory role," Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, Dewa's chief executive, told reporters on Wednesday. The closing date for the bidding is Feb 22.
Hassyan would be operated as an Independent Water and Power Plant (IWPP), a new model to Dubai but not to the United Arab Emirates. Ruling emirate Abu Dhabi already has several plants operating on the IWPP model.
The utility was not in talks with any operators at present, Tayer said.
Dewa, which has around 600,000 customers, plans to reach just under 10,000 MW of power generation capacity by 2012. It has capacity of around 7,500 MW, Tayer said.
Power consumption has grown quickly in the UAE, the world's third-largest oil exporter, and the government has struggled to meet demand in some emirates.
Dubai government entities face a tough challenge raising cash after government-owned Dubai World rocked global markets in November when it said it would seek a standstill on $26 billion if debt, although Dewa has said it would go ahead with a $1.5 billion Eurobond issue in April. - Reuters