Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) is talking with several export credit agencies about financing the utility’s first independent power project, the 1,500MW Hassyan 1 development.

The advisers on the project have already met with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim).

It is understood that as long as the project structure is bankable and feasible, with substantial involvement from Japanese companies, JBIC will consider providing them with financial support for the project.

Kexim is also understood to be considering helping South Korean companies bidding on the project.

Dewa issued the request for proposals for the Hassyan project on 22 May. A total of 18 companies have been prequalified to bid for the project, with the bid deadline set for 18 October. The company is aiming to sign a power purchase agreement with a preferred bidder in January 2012 and reach financial close in the first half of 2012.

“We are already in dialogue with banks and export credit agencies about the strengths of this project,” says Duncan Allison, director of project and export finance at the UK’s HSBC, who is advising Dewa on the project. “We think if you look at this project and Dewa, you will see a very credit-worthy company in a very stable environment with strong cash flows, and a clear commitment to it from the government.”