Power shortage starts to bite Business Bay

A top contractor has said Dubai's Business Bay development is facing crippling power shortages due to insufficient power plants.
Power shortage starts to bite Business Bay
By Jamie Stewart
Sat 06 Sep 2008 08:00 AM

A top contractor has said Dubai's Business Bay development is facing crippling power shortages due to insufficient power plants.

Of seven planned electricity substations, only one is under construction, according to Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC) project co-ordination manager Bassam Kheir.

"There is a problem with the whole of Business Bay," Kheir said. "We have a project - Citadel Tower - where we are in the commissioning stage.

"Normally commissioning should run on the permanent power to maintain the frequency of electricity, because the frequency affects the testing and commissioning of some services.

"Normally we run it on Dewa (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) power, not on the generator. But here we have to rely on the generator."

Dewa officials were unavailable for comment.

Master developer Dubai Properties plans around 300 towers for Business Bay. Only 15% are under construction, but already power shortages are biting.

"When we build facilities, infrastructure needs to be done prior to the start of construction," said ASGC project director Sami Deek.

"Definitely the demand is much higher than what's available. No matter what the alternatives are, they will never be able to catch up with demand."

ASGC has handed over the South Ridge project in Business Bay.

"Are they using generators? To be honest, I don't know," said Deek. "It could be generators for the whole building as a temporary solution."

The contractor is also building 13 tower blocks in the Bay Square area of Business Bay.

"For this project there is no design No Objections Certificate (NOC)," said Kheir.

"Dewa is refusing to give any design NOC because they cannot commit to provide electricity by the end of any project."

Kheir said it takes around 30 months to build each substation. "So far there is only one which is under construction. Work on the next one should have started but has not, so we are sure that there won't be electricity for our projects."

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