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Tue 10 Nov 2009 12:48 PM

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Abu Dhabi sees sharp rise in water, electricity demand

UAE's capital expects power & water sector to grow by 7-8% over next five years.

Water and electricity demand in Abu Dhabi is expected to rise 7 to 8 percent over next five years and its power authority will look to duel fuel, gas or coal, to generate its power, a senior official said on Tuesday.

"The growth of power demand in the UAE between 2008 and 2009 (was) 11 percent," Abdulla Said al Nuaimi, director of privatisation at Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), said a conference organised by London-based MEED.

"This shows a sign in the economy's growth and when the economy grows, we grow. Over the next five years, we expect the power and water sector to increase by 7-8 percent."

He said ADWEA was looking for sources of fuel to meet that demand and could consider duel fuel, gas or coal, even though the latter would present logisitical difficulties.

The emirate, the largest and wealthiest in the seven-member United Arab Emirates federation, will invite international firms to participate in its ninth independent water and power project (IWPP) by the end of this year, Nuaimi said.

Last month, Abu Dhabi sealed a $2.15 billion long-term financing deal for its Shuweihat 2 water and power project -- the eighth IWPP which is expected to about $2.72 billion.

The ninth project, to be built at Taweelah, will have capacity of over 1500 MW of power and 100 million gallons per day of water, Nuaimi said.

"Officially, we will announce by end of 2009 or latest early next year," he said.

"It will be the same model as earlier IWPPs" he said.

He said the investment outlay is yet to be finalised but added that Abu Dhabi has invested over $20 billion in the previous eight IWPPs.

Abu Dhabi is building the world s largest aluminium smelter and an industrial zone in Taweelah. (Reuters)

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