Dubai Mulls Nuclear-/Coal-Fired Power Plants

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"We are looking for public-private partnerships. . ."

Coal and nuclear technology are two options being weighed by the Dubai Government as it strives to diversify energy resources to meet future demand, a top official said.

The private sector will be allowed to invest in power projects in future as part of the Energy Strategy 2030, he said.

"We are looking for public-private partnerships and already we are experiencing this in the Hessian project. However, the private sector's participation will not go above 40%," Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, vice-chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy, and managing director and chief executive of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), told Gulf News.

The Dubai government's newly created Supreme Council of Energy has hired global advisory group McKinsey & Company to help develop an Energy Strategy 2030 that will help the emirate explore alternative energy resources to power its utilities sector and meet future demand.

Strong economic growth has driven up power demand across the GCC where governments have been pondering the use of nuclear and alternative energies to maintain growth. The UAE earlier awarded a contract to a Korean consortium to build four nuclear power plants.

The council is studying the development of short, medium and long-term strategic plans for the energy sector in Dubai. "It is a study at this stage which will be completed in August. The power demand in Dubai is increasing," Al Tayer said.

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