Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has issued a request for qualification (RFQ) to developers for its first independent power project (IPP).

Dewa invited companies to show interest in the project in March, The project is to be built at Hassyan.About 30 companies responded. According to the tender schedule, bids are to be invited by mid-May for a 13 September bid deadline.

A UK consortium comprising bank HSBC, engineering firm Mott MacDonald and law firm Clifford Chance was selected in June 2010 to advise on the project.

The IPP at Hassyan was originally to be developed as an independent water and power project (IWPP), but the desalination element was subsequently dropped. According to a source at Dewa, the decision to adjust the project plan was taken following a revised water demand forecast. While power continues to increase at a steady rate, meeting water needs in coming years will be less difficult.

The Hassyan 1 project will be constructed on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. When complete, it will generate 1400-1600MW and is to use natural gas/distillate fuel. The project is expected to be commissioned in 2014. Dewa will buy all of the power produced by the project.

The chosen developer will take a 51 per cent stake in the Hassyan 1 IPP. It will be responsible for the development, financing, design engineering, procurement, manufacture, construction, permitting, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the power plant and associated facilities, as well as fuel.

The Hassyan 1 IPP is expected to be followed by five or six similar independent projects as part of Dewa’s private power programme.