Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has invited consultants to bid by 5 December for a study into alternative applications of coal for electricity generation in an effort to diversify its energy mix.

According to Dewa, it is “identifying alternative fuel applications such as coal and other fossil fuel based residues in order to cope with growing electricity demand in Dubai.”

The project will include studies and recommendations for electricity generation based on commercially proven technologies such as super critical pulverised coal (SCPC) and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC).

Dewa says it is identifying alternative fuel applications…to cope with growing electricity demand

The winning bidder will indicate the achievable efficiency levels of the technologies for Dubai, and include details on the feasibility of integrating carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) capabilities.

Dewa signed a memoranda of understanding (MoU) to conduct a feasibility study looking at the introduction of coal in the emirate’s power sector last year along with another MoU to look into the potential of syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Both studies were launched with the intention of finding a substitute for natural gas.

The issue of feedstock for power generation has become a growing problem in Dubai. Dewa receives all of its natural gas supplies from the fellow state-owned entity Dusup. In recent years Dusup has experienced a shortage in supply. As a result, the price of gas has increased sharply.

Further, the lack of new gas supplies has meant that Dubai has turned to more expensive fuel oil to power its plants. Electricity consumers have been affected by the increased cost of power production with severe rate hikes.