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Abu Dhabi commissions new power plant

Abu Dhabi will commission a 1,500 MW power plant in 2011. Building of the Shuwaihat-2 power plant will be followed up with the construction of a 1,600 MW power plant in the same area towards the end of 2011. The second power plant will reportedly cost around US$1.5 billion to build, and bids for the project are already being evaluated.

Sources said five consortiums had submitted offers. The authorities are expected to award the contract by the end of 2010, reports the Khaleej Times.

Abu Dhabi Water and Power Authority, or ADWEA, is setting up the Shuwaihat-2 power plant on a build, own and operate, or BOO, basis. The US$2.8 billion natural gas project will generate 1,500-MW of electricity and desalinate 100 million gallons of water. ADWEA has a 60 per cent stake while Marubeni Corporation of Japan and France?s GDF SUEZ each have a 20 per cent interest in the project.

Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, popularly known as Taqa, said planning, sustainability and supply are the key issues that ?we have highlighted in our strategic plan and with the support of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) we are confident of achieving our objectives.?

Primary energy demand in the UAE is set to increase 71 per cent by 2019. Experts say the country will need to increase its output by at least five per cent per annum to meet that demand until 2020. There are almost US$1.4 trillion worth of development projects planned or under way throughout the GCC countries, with the UAE responsible for over 50 per cent of those projects.

Officials in Abu Dhabi say they have committed to spending US$16.3 billion over the next five years.