Dubai seeks renewable, nuclear energy mix

Emirate seeking to guarantee power supply and reduce harmful emissions.
NEW APPROACH: The UAE is beginning an atomic-energy programme to diversify supply.
By Anthony DiPaola
Wed 23 Jun 2010 03:53 PM

Dubai is developing a strategy to diversify power generation sources and improve efficiency to ensure an adequate energy supply through 2030, the government said.

The emirate’s Supreme Energy Council held a two-day workshop with advisers McKinsey to devise plans that would include using “clean” coal, nuclear power and renewable-energy, according to an e-mailed statement.

Dubai, the second-biggest of the seven sheikdoms in the UAE, produces less than four percent of the nation’s oil. The emirate is seeking to guarantee power supply and reduce emissions that contribute to global warming, according to comments made by Saeed Mohammad Al-Tayer, the Council’s vice chairman, in today’s statement.

The UAE holds about seven percent of the world’s crude reserves, with most of the country’s deposits of oil and natural gas located in Abu Dhabi, its national capital and largest emirate. Oil and natural gas production made up about 5.5 percent of Dubai’s $62bn economy in 2007, according to data from the UAE Economy Ministry.

Persian Gulf states are boosting power supply to meet rising demand from growing populations and as they seek investment to spur economic growth. The UAE is beginning an atomic-energy programme to diversify supply and compensate for limited amounts of the natural gas needed to fire power plants.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, last year established an energy planning council and an oil affairs department to manage production, sale and export of crude and regulate licensing of related products.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum was named as chairman of the Department of Oil Affairs and will head the Supreme Council for Energy.

The emirate earlier this year said it discovered an offshore crude deposit that it plans to evaluate and begin developing as early as next year. The size of the deposit and prospective production levels weren’t disclosed.

Government-run utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority is seeking international investors to build a 1,500-megawatt power plant and water desalination facility. DEWA, headed by Al- Tayer, plans to build in six phases a new generation facility located at Hassyan on the border with Abu Dhabi that would generate a total of 9,000 megawatts when completed.

The utility, which slowed projects because of lower growth rates, still plans to raise generation capacity by about a third over the next two years to 9,800 megawatts, Al-Tayer said in March. The company is also building a 2,085-megawatts combined- cycle gas turbine plant at an industrial area along the coast. (Bloomberg)

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