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Dubai announces winning bidders for clean coal plant

Harbin Electric, Alstom France to build plant; other firms to operate it

Dubai: A consortium headed by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and Korea’s Harbin Electric has won the bidding to operate the first phase of Dubai’s coal-fired Hassyan power plant for 25 years, said Dewa managing director and CEO Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer.

The first phase, comprising two 600-megawatt (MW) clean-coal units to be operational by 2020 and 2021, will be built by Harbin Electric and France’s Alstrom. Two further phases, following at an unspecified time, will bring total capacity to 3,600MW.

The overall cost of all phases will be Dh1.8 billion.

The plant, at Saih Shuaib, on the border of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, will be run under an Independent Power Producer (IPP) model on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis, with Dewa holding a 51 per cent controlling stake in the operating company, yet to be established.

The consortium, which also includes Alstom  and US-based NRG, will supply Dewa with electricity at a levelised cost of 4.501 US cents (16.5 fils) per kilowatt hour.

The plant will use ultra-supercritical clean coal technology, which the World Coal Association rates at 50 per cent efficiency compared to regular pulverised coal plants at 35 per cent efficiency. That represents net carbon dioxide emission savings of 0.1 tonnes per MW/hour produced. Al Tayer said Dewa had insisted on emission limits more stringent than the European Union’s Industrial Emmissions Directive.

France’s EDF Trading will supply coal for the plant.

Speaking after the press conference, Al Tayer said, “We want to keep the plant clean and efficient. There is no transfer here — we’d like to give the developer room and interest [in the operation]. All the members of the consortium have an excellent track record.”