Dubai’s DEWA May Seek Funds for Power-Plant Expansion, CEO Says

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the government-owned utility in the Persian Gulf emirate, may seek financing to pay for a power-plant-expansion project, Chief Executive Officer Saeed Al Tayer said.

DEWA, as the company is known, plans to add two natural gas turbines to its M Station facility in a project that may start next year, Al Tayer said in an interview after a news conference yesterday. He didn’t say how much the project to add 400 megawatts of generation capacity would cost or when the utility might need the funds.

Dubai, the second-largest sheikdom in the United Arab Emirates, is boosting generating capacity to meet demand that’s rising about 5 percent a year and plans to develop new sources to lessen reliance on gas. The utility in February sold a $1 billion Islamic bond to repay debt and a month later Al Tayer said the company wouldn’t need external funds until 2015.

The utility is planning to hire private companies to develop and run a 100-megawatt solar power plant as the next step in its renewable-energy push, Al Tayer said yesterday. DEWA is building a 13-megawatt solar facility scheduled to be completed in October and will give further details on the new project later this year, he said.

Private companies will also build a coal plant the emirate is planning, Al Tayer said. By 2030, Dubai seeks to get 12 percent of its power from coal, to buy another 12 percent from Abu Dhabi’s planned nuclear facilities and to get 5 percent from renewable energy. The balance will continue to come from gas, according to a strategic plan the emirate announced in 2011.

The U.A.E., where both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are developing renewable-energy plans, should seek to share its knowledge and experience with other regional states in a Middle East energy council, Paolo Lembo, the regional representative for the United Nations Development Program, said at the news conference in Dubai. While no negotiations have taken place on such a group, the body could function under the auspices of the UN to promote renewable energy, he said.

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