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RAK to build UAE’s first clean coal power plant

Plant rated to generate 270 megawatts of power

Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE’s first clean coal-fired power plant will be built in Ras Al Khaimah by Shanghai Electric and Utico Middle East at a cost of Dh1.5 billion.

The power plant is rated to generate 270 megawatts of power, it was announced Wednesday.

Supported by the Ras Al Khaimah government, the venture is expected to be completed in 2015.

The agreement was signed in Ras Al Khaimah on Wednesday between Rashid Mehran Al Baloushi, Chairman of Utico Middle East, and Han Youtian, Vice-Chairman of Shanghai Electric, in the presence of high-ranking officials from the Ras Al Khaimah government.

Richard Menezes, Managing Director and Executive Vice-Chairman of Utico Middle East, told Gulf News that the project will be funded through debt and equity — for which the funds have already been arranged.

“On debt, we are talking to a consortium of banks for finance,” he said. “This project also will be able to lower power tariffs, thus benefitting consumers and providing support for economic growth.”

The project will utilise 100 per cent carbon capture technology as nominal design capacity and 80 per cent at operational point and this will involve the establishment of world-class power generation facilities and environment protection standards and related utility infrastructure.

“Clean coal-fired energy is acknowledged to be even cleaner and greener than gas-reliant energy. By deploying Shanghai Electric’s superior energy-efficient and tried and proven technology to for the plant, we are confident of reducing Flue Gas Desulphurisation, carbon dioxide emissions almost to zero, and setting the benchmark for cleaner energy to the world and not only to the UAE,” Menezes explained.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are set to invest $252 billion (Dh925.62 billion) over the next five years on projects for setting up new power production plants, distribution systems and supply grids, recent reportssuggests.

Coal-fired power plants produce almost 65 per cent of the world’s energy today but none in the GCC due to environmental concerns and high costs associated with clean coal technology.

Coal-fired plants generate power burning coal in a boiler to heat water to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (540C) that, in turn, produces steam. The steam, at tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity. The steam is cooled, condensed back into water, and returned to the boiler to start the process over.

Utico is currently in talks with Dubai which wants to procure 12 per cent of its power from clean coal as well as other GCC countries to implement this clean energy project at substantially lower power tariffs and that too environment-friendly.

Menezes said, discussions are also underway with the Oman government to finalise power, water and hospitality projects, which includes local employment generation and lowering water and power tariffs.

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