Investment in new coal generation may be on the way out in western Europe and the USA, but not, remarkably enough, in Dubai, where a consortium led by ACWA Power has signed a 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) for the 2400 MW phase one of the Hassyan clean coal power plant. It is being procured as an independent power project under a build own operate scheme. Commercial operation is planned for March 2023.
This will be the first coal-based power plant in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region and first ultrasupercritical clean coal power plant in the Middle East and Africa region.
It will be required to meet emissions standards that are stricter than those contained in the EU Industrial Emissions Directive and in the International Finance Corporation guidelines. It will also be "carbon capture ready".
As well as being ultrasupercritical the plant also features integrated transhipment of coal and dry bulk handling facilities. Natural gas will be used as a back-up fuel.
The project is part of Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy, which aims to diversify the Emirate’s energy mix.
On 9 June 2016, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA signed the PPA and a shareholders agreement with HE Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power and representative of the ACWA Power and Harbin Electric consortium.
This follows the sending of a letter of intent on January 2016 from DEWA to the ACWA Power and Harbin Electric consortium, which it had selected as the best bidder.
The winning bidder has been required to commit to a secure delivery of coal to the plant over the 25-year life of the PPA. The first, 2400 MW, phase of the project comprises four 600 MW units, while a second, 1200 MW, phase is planned, consisting of two 600 MW units, also ultrasupercritical. "DEWA’s Hassyan clean coal power project shows our commitment to achieving the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to diversify the energy mix. It also reflects DEWA’s commitment to its goals of energy diversification and sustainability of resources, and achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which focuses on producing electricity from clean coal as part of Dubai’s energy mix", said Al Tayer. "DEWA works to achieve the fifth pillar of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which focuses on creating an environmentally-friendly energy mix, with 25% coming from solar energy, 7% from nuclear power, 7% from clean coal, and 61% from gas by 2030"."Signing this agreement exemplifies the success of Public Private Partnerships and the importance of involving the private sector in enhancing efficiency, productivity and cost reduction, in addition to optimising resources, transferring the technology, and training and developing local skills in the energy industry. Moreover, signing a PPA with DEWA brings us closer to the completion of the financial close of the project to start its construction as per the stated timeframe," said Abunayyan.