Dewa to privatise Hassyan project

Tender for advisory services set to close on February 20. Selection of operator for Dewa's first IPP likely by mid-2010. (REUTERS)

Dewa, as per the order of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has begun to float a tender for its first project involving the private sector.

The tender to offer "advisory services" for the privatisation of Hassyan project, a Dh20 billion Greenfield power and desalination plant, is expected to close on February 20, Emirates Business has learnt.

Unlike its GCC neighbours who have opted for a wider deregulation scheme, the selected private firms would only be able to operate the power generation segment while transmission and distribution will remain under Dewa's domain. All existing plants will continue to be run by Dewa.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Dewa Managing Director and CEO, said the privatisation plan will support Dewa's business by adding new business areas and will also benefit the economy as it opens up "exciting" opportunities for local and foreign investments. "Dubai's competitiveness in the business firm is stable and we should support it by introducing new business areas," he said.

The strict laws related to technical specifications, reliability, pricing and regulations relating to emissions, as well as predictable market and economic changes in the future play an important role in Dewa's decision-making process, he said.

"We still don't know the value as it's the first time that we are going for an IPP (Independent Power Producer) ," said Waleed Salma, Vice-President, Business Development at Dewa. He said developers and Dewa are expected to seal the financial agreement over the next 18 months.

"The tender is still floating and we plan to close it on February 20. It is open for qualified consultants and companies. From then, they have 50 days to give their bid offers and then we need a month or so for the evaluation and selection of the candidate," said Salma.

 

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