Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has invited contractors to submit expression of interest (EOI) and prequalify for a planned new desalination plant in the Jebel Ali area of the emirate.

The planned reverse osmosis (RO) plant will have a capacity of 40 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD). According to the documents, the prequalification process will run alongside the expression of interest (EOI) stage.

Contractors have been invited to submit EOIs by 24 January.

The plant is due to be operational by April 2020.

In July 2016, Dewa awarded a contract to the Abu Dhabi office of Austria’s ILF Consulting Engineers to provide engineering consultancy services for the planned new plant.

All of Dubai’s desalination capacity is located at Jebel Ali with two-thirds of the total installed capacity having been built since 2003. With the exception of a 114,000-cm/d RO unit, all of the existing capacity is based on multi-stage flash (MSF) technology and operates in conjunction with power generation.

The sharp rise in water demand in Dubai the period 2005-08 led the government to invest heavily in new desalination capacity. By 2011, installed capacity had reached 470MIGD, more than double the 2006 total, and considerably more than total demand of 276MIGD. As a result of the major capacity expansion in this period, no further installed capacity has been installed since.

Peak demand for water increased to 316MIGD in 2014, up 7 per cent on the 296MIGD demand recorded in 2013.