Utilities plants planned for UAE

The Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) has announced plans for several desalination and electrical power plants for the UAE.

The Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) has announced plans for several desalination and electrical power plants for the UAE.

Speaking ahead of the Middle East Electricity 2007 exhibition, Mohammed Mohd Saleh, director of water for FEWA, confirmed plans for desalination plants in the Northern Emirates. “A six million gallon per day capacity desalination plant is under construction in Ajman and is due to be completed by the end of 2007,” Saleh stated. Construction of the plant is expected to cost US $136 million (AED80 million).

”We are proposing a further expansion of 10 million gallons/day, which can be expanded to 20 million gallons/day depending on demand,” Saleh added. FEWA reportedly plans to tender the work as turnkey packages within the next three months.

The plant forms part of FEWA’s strategy to increase water production capacity in the Northern Emirates of Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.

As part of this strategy, a 10 million gallon/day desalination plant is being planned for Ras Al Khaimah. A further plant costing $11 million has been built in Fujairah, being commissioned around two months ago.

In further steps to secure the supply of utilities in the UAE, a $223 million project to connect the power grids of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates is in its final stages. “In May 2006 we commissioned the Dubai-Abu Dhabi line so we can exchange electricity; we expect completion of the [entire] project by the end of March 2007,” stated Waleed Ali Salman, director of electricity at FEWA.

The purpose of the grid is to enable power sharing between the Emirates. This is expected to lead to savings in operation and maintenance costs as well as increased security of supply. “It’s the efficient way of operating…authorities can reduce their costs by certain amounts,” added Salman.

The interconnection project has been carried out in three phases, with phase one being feasibility study carried out in 2001. Phase two involved the preparation of specifications and tender documents prior to contracts being signed in 2004. “The focal point of the project is a 400kV substation in Adhaid, Sharjah, that’s at the testing and commissioning stage now,” said Salman. 

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