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Wed 13 Jan 2010 11:13 AM

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DEWA sees first private deal signed by end of H1 2011

Dubai utility official says expects to issue tender for 1,000MW plant in H2 2010.

Dubai's power utility said on Wednesday that it aims to sign its first contract with private investors to generate electricity and water by the end of the first half next year.

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) expects to issue a tender for a 1,000 megawatt power and desalination plant in the second half this year and to award a contract in 15 to 18 months from now, Waleed Ali Ahmed Salman, vice president of business development at DEWA told newswire Bloomberg.

“This is the first time we’re taking such a step,” Salman told the newswire. “We’re very optimistic it will succeed."

Salman said the utility has been studying the plan to seek private investors for two to three years. It comes “at the right time for DEWA” and isn’t related to the sheikhdom’s recent efforts to slow debt repayments, he said.

DEWA said on Tuesday that it was aiming to attract advisors for its plan to privatise the emirate's power generation and water desalination sectors.

It is the latest move to promote competitiveness of Dubai, DEWA said in a statement, adding that it was "working to attract advisory services offers for privatisation".

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA, said that DEWA would continue to complete its water and power projects while the process of privatisation is implemented.

"Since the introduction of an Independent Producer of Water and Power Producer (IWPP) requires time for implementation, therefore, DEWA will continue to meet the growing needs and demand for power and desalinated water in Dubai," he added.

DEWA serves nearly 600,000 customers in Dubai.

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