Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has invited consultants to submit proposals for the emirate’s first independent water project (IWP).

The utility has invited firms to submit proposals by 31 January for an advisory contract on a planned 120 million imperial gallon a day (MIGD) plant at Hassyan.

The project will be the first desalination plant that Dubai has tendered under the IWP model. Previous water facilities were procured using standard government-backed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deals.

The Hassyan desalination project was originally planned to be procured under an EPC model, with the client receiving proposals from technical consultants in June last year. However, the client has since decided to switch the project to an IWP, and will appoint a developer to finance and build the plant.

In June 2016, Dewa awarded a contract to a joint venture of Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and China’s Harbin Electric to develop a 2,400MW coal-fired power plant at Hassyan.

The independent power producer (IPP) project is being developed in four 600MW phases, with each unit to be made operational in March each year between 2020 and 2023.