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Dubai Builds Two Months of Gas Reserve for Power, Official Says

Dubai, the second-largest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates, has developed a two-month reserve of natural gas to ensure it can run its power plants in the event of a supply disruption, a government official said.

The Persian Gulf emirate built up the gas reserves and cut the amount of diesel it stores, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, chief executive officer of the government-owned utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, said today in an interview. Al Tayer is also vice chairman of the emirate’s Supreme Council for Energy, a policy planning body.

The regional business, banking and real-estate hub imports liquefied natural gas by ship and also takes gas by pipeline from Qatar since it’s exhausted its own supplies. Dubai’s energy council last year announced a plan to diversify fuel sources to cut the use of gas from more than 90 percent of supply now to about 70 percent by 2030. Solar power, coal and nuclear generation will comprise the rest, according to the plan.

Dubai reduced its own requirements to hold 14 days worth of diesel to run its power plants to five days of reserves since it built up the gas storage, according to Al Tayer.

DEWA, as the government-owned utility is known, has electricity generation capacity sufficient to meet demand through 2019, Al Tayer said. DEWA will raise about 4.5 billion dirhams ($1.2 billion) in debt next year to refinance existing borrowings and will likely focus mainly on the sale of Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, for the funds, he said.

Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate in and capital of the U.A.E., holds most of the country’s oil and gas reserves.

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