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SEWA mulls BOT project for Hamriyah power plant

Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) is evaluating details of an independent power project (IPP) for Hamriyah power station to be developed under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract. Sharjah’s utility authority started a bid process towards the end of 2015, for a project to expand and convert Hamriyah power plant from an open-cycle plant to a combined-cycle facility. According to Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), SEWA has been discussion with a group including Sumitomo and GE about the possibility developing an IPP in order to meet the Sharjah emirate’s growing power requirements.

According to a report this week in UAE newspaper The National, SEWA expects phase one of the Hamriyah power plant to be ready in 2019, followed by phase two in 2020 and phase three in 2021. The Hamriyah power plant is Sharjah’s largest power generation and water desalination plant and could have a future capacity of 2500 MW of electricity and 140 million gallons of water per day. The planned three-phase expansion project will increase electricity production capacity from 500 Megawatts (MW) to 1,500 MW. According to MEED, an IPP agreement for Hamriyah power plant would supersede the terms of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bid.

Hamriyah power plant currently uses GE Energy’s gas turbine technology to produce electricity and the expansion project will convert the plant to a combined-cycle process, adding two new turbines. Combined-cycle power plants use both a gas and a steam turbines together to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel. The waste heat from gas turbines is routed to steam turbines, which generate additional power.

SEWA signed a gas sales agreement with Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) in May this year, guaranteeing the supply of natural gas to three SEWA power stations, including Hamriyah power plant. SNOC, in a joint venture with Uniper, will import liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the Port of Hamriyah, commencing supply in 2019. Some of the gas will flow from the Hamriyah port receiving jetty directly into the Hamriyah station.

Meanwhile, Sharjah has been pumping natural gas 25 kilometres from the new Zora gas field to the Hamriyah power station since early 2016, via an onshore gas processing plant at Hamriyah Free Zone.

Sharjah’s focus on public-private partnerships is consistent with renewed interest in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the region, due to lower oil prices. Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority awarded its first BOT contract in July for the development of a new desalination plant in Kalba.

Source: MEED, The National, SEWA

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