Only a small number of bidders are expected to express interest in advising on Dubai Electricity & Water Authority’s (Dewa) plans to build a coal fired power station in the emirate, according to sources in the emirate.

Banks including the UK’s HSBC and France’s BNP Paribas, which have the most experience in advising on the structuring and financing of independent power plants (IPPs) in the region, are understood to not be bidding.

The absence of the major investment banks from the bidders list has cleared the way for accountancy firms including Ernst & Young and KPMG to bid for the role.

After scrapping plans to develop a gas fired plant at Hassyan, in the south of Dubai, Dewa’s latest scheme to build a coal plant at the same site has been greeted with scepticism by potential advisers. “A lot of people wasted a lot of time and resources the last time, so there is not much faith about how far this project will really go,” says one source in the UAE close to Dewa.

Potential advisers have been asked to submit bids as a consortium of financial, legal and technical experts by 9 October.