The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has shortlisted five bidders for the role of financial adviser on its first independent water and power project (IWPP).

The shortlisted groups are Ernst & Young, Royal Bank of Scotland, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, all UK-based, with US-based Sargent & Lundy; UK-based KPMG, Australia’s Worley Parsons, and UK-based DLA Piper; HSBC, Mott MacDonald, and Clifford Chance, all UK-based; France’s BNP Paribas, US-based Chadbourne & Parke, and Germany’s Lahmeyer; and US-based McKinsey & Company, the local EmiratesNBD/US-based Westney Consulting Group, and UK-based Allen & Overy.

All five groups will make presentations to Dewa by the end of April.

A total of 14 firms had submitted bids for the consultancy contract with Dewa. The utility is planning to develop an IWPP at Hassyan, that will provide 1,500MW of power and 120 million gallons a day of water. If it goes ahead, the project is expected to be commissioned in 2014, with construction tenders launched in 2010.

The prospectus for Dewa’s recent $1bn to bond issue stated that the Dubai power provider had signed memorandum of understanding for three feasibility studies on the establishment of IWPPs in the emirate. This included one to “assess the feasibility of building power and water transmission facilities in Fujairah, with a view to exporting electricity and water from the plant and integrating it with Dewa’s own electricity and water network”.

A consortium including BNP Paribas was recently awarded the consultancy contract to provide financial, legal and technical advisory services on Kuwait’s first IWPP. While HSBC is currently working on Abu Dhabi’s Shuweihat 3 independent power project (IPP).