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15 July 2024

Capital to modify its utilities forecast

By Nadim Kawach



Abu Dhabi has revised up its projections for power and water demand in the long term because of an upsurge in the domestic economy, officials said on Tuesday .


The new forecasts take into consideration an unprecedented industrial and construction boom in the emirate, higher demand by oil companies, the fast-growing Khalifa Port zone and Abu Dhabi’s long-term urban development plan, said Keith Miller, Director of Planning and Studies Directorate at the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (Adwec), an ADWEA affiliate and the only power buyer and seller in the emirate.


Speaking at a power and water conference in Abu Dhabi, Miller estimated the emirate’s present electricity demand at around 5,286MW is projected to surge to 8,276MW in 2010, to 14,946MW in 2015, and 17,496MW in 2020. The demand is expected to peak at 23,554MW by 2030.


Although capacity currently exceeds demand, massive investment is needed in the long term to expand existing power generation units and build new stations to meet a growth of more than six per cent until 2030, he said. “Adwec must purchase additional IWPP [independent water and power production] capacity to satisfy demand,” Miller said.


“The current development boom will require significant quantities of water and electricity capacity over and above normal developments assumed in Adwec’s pre-2005 demand forecasts…. the power generation capacity required by 2030 is estimated at 26,562 MW and for this purpose, mega projects are needed.”


Besides the economic upsurge, caused by high crude prices and strong performance of the non-oil sector, capacity expansions are needed to ensure supplies for the rapid growth in the population, which is expected to surge to nearly 3.17 million by 2030 from around 1.3 million at present.


“Our latest forecasts, which were completed in March 2008, take into consideration new developments, including the Adnoc Group’s demand, Khalifa Port requirements, the mega-projects and construction boom in the emirate, and the Urban Planning Council development plan until 2030,” Miller said.


His figures showed power demand is projected to grow by an average 6.7 per cent annually until 2030, while water consumption is forecast to surge from nearly 650,000 gallons per day to 1.35 million gallons per day during that period.


Speaking to Emirates Business, another Adwec official said the company had drawn up plans for the next four years to meet growing electricity and water demand, adding more plans would be devised later.


Ahmed Al Nassay, Head of the Electricity Demand Forecasting Section, said such projects would be more than enough to ensure supplies in the long term. “Assigned developers provide us with forecasts on demand every four years and I can assure you there will be no supply shortages in the future as the planned projects will be more than enough,” he said.


“The projects include the construction of new power stations and expansion of existing units.”