The expanded M-Station desalination plant in Jebel Ali. It has a fuel efficiency of more than 85 per cent. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai is ready to cope with a growing demand for power and water after the UAE’s largest desalination plant was expanded by 700 megawatts (MW) on Monday.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance, and President of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), inaugurated the M-Station expansion in Jebel Ali on Monday along with Mattar Humaid Al Tayer, chairman of the Board of Directors of Dewa and Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa.

The Dh1.52 billion expansion project in partnership with Siemens and Mott MacDonald added new generating units with a capacity of 700MW, bringing its total capacity to 2,885MW. The Dh11.66 billion plant built in 2013 can now produce 140 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day (MIGD).

Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer said the project is in line with the vision of the UAE’s leadership to raise Dubai’s profile and improve the quality of life in the city as part of the UAE Centennial 2071 goal to make the UAE the best country in the world.

Dubai is already home to the largest generator of solar energy in the world from a single location, the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, that will be fully operational by fourth quarter of 2020 with a capacity to produce 5,000MW by 2030, but Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer said the M-Station would be an important back up.

“It’s very important that we have a backup [water and energy supply] because, as you know, sometimes we have rain and the weather could be cloudy. Therefore, we cannot operate solely on solar except for the Concentrated Solar Power,” he told Gulf News.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid, Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer and Mattar Humaid Al Tayer at the inauguration of the plant. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

He added that residents could now be assured of no service disruptions.

“This expansion means that we are planning ahead for the future,” he said. “We are delivering on time. There is spare capacity of power and water in Dubai. This means you will have no interruption and this will help in cases of emergency.”

In 2018, Dewa achieved the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world with 2.68 CML, compared to 15 minutes in Europe. CML measures the average number of minutes per year that a customer has their supply interrupted.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the plant’s extension design pegged it at 90 per cent, which has increased the plant’s overall fuel efficiency from 82.4 per cent to 85.8 per cent, one of the highest fuel efficiency rates in the world.

“In terms of sustainability, it creates a lasting impact because we have a fuel efficiency of more than 85 per cent in this plant. It shows again that Dewa is a very innovative entity that looks out for the environment and cares for the citizens and residents who are living here,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East and UAE.

Dewa’s production capacity

11,100MW of electricity

470 MIGD of water


■ Total cost: Dh11.66 billion, including Dh1.52 billion expansion

2,885MW of electricity

140 MIGD of water