Utico eyes GCC coal power projects
Ras Al Khaimah, October 21, 2012
Utico Middle East, a leading private full service utility and solutions provider, said after announcing its ambitious $408 million coal power plant in the UAE recently, it aims to provide clean coal power to the rest of the region.
A subsidiary of $2 billion UAE conglomerate Ghantoot Group of Companies, Utico said it is currently in talks with Dubai which wishes to procure 12 per cent of its power from clean coal as well as other GCC countries to implement this unique clean energy project at substantially lower power tariffs.
Discussions are also underway with the Oman government to finalise power,water and hospitality projects, which includes local employment generation and lowering water and power tariffs, said a top official.
Utico Middle East and Shanghai Electric, the world’s largest coal power company, recently announced a joint collaboration to establish the world’s greenest coal-fired power plant in Ras Al Khaimah.
The facility is expected to be completed in 2015 and will generate 270 MW of power when fully functional.
Utico managing director Richard Menezes described the facility as a milestone development for the Arab world that would enable GCC nations to meet their utility requirements while showcasing their commitment towards clean, green energy resources.
The project assumes special significance for Gulf states as they explore all possible avenues to meet the growing demand for power from the region’s industries and consumers, said Menezes.
“Clean coal-fired energy is acknowledged to be even cleaner and greener than gas-reliant energy. By deploying Shanghai Electric’s superior energy-efficient and proven technology at the plant, we are confident of reducing flue gas desulphurization, carbon dioxide emissions almost to zero, and setting the benchmark for cleaner energy to the world,” he explained.
Coal-fired power plants produce almost 65 per cent of the world’s energy today but none of them are in the GCC due to the environmental concerns and high costs associated with clean coal technology, said the top official.
Coal-fired plants generate power burning coal in a boiler to heat water to more than 540 degrees Celsius that, in turn, produces steam. The steam, at tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity.
The steam is cooled, condensed back into water, and returned to the boiler to start the process over, Menezes explained.
The UAE facility will utilise 100 per cent carbon capture technology as nominal design capacity and 80 per cent at operational point and this will involve the establishment of world-class power generation facilities and environmental protection standards and related utility infrastructure.
This project will also lower power tariffs, thus benefitting consumers and providing support for economic growth, he added.-TradeArabia New Service