• Additional turbines and combined-cycle conversion will expand capacity of existing plant by 1,000MW
  • Contractors have been invited to submit bids by 7 February
  • The Sharjah emirate has become increasingly dependent on electricity imports from Abu Dhabi in recent years

The Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (Sewa) has invited contractors to submit bids for the contract to expand and convert the existing Hamriyah power plant to a combined-cycle facility.

The two add-on turbine expansion and combined-cycle block is expected to increase the capacity of the existing 500MW open-cycle plant by 1,000MW.

Bid close: Selected contractors have been invited to submit bids by 7 February 2016. 

According to sources interested in the project, the scheme has been in the planning stage for a significant length of time waiting for budget approval.

The power plant expansion is part of Sharjah’s plans to boost domestic power capacity to deal with the growing demand for power. The emirate has become increasingly reliant on electricity imports from neighbouring Abu Dhabi in recent years.

Sharjah’s electricity imports increased sharply from:

  • 184MW in 2008 to
  • 707Mw by 2011.
  • in 2013, Sewa imported 761MW from the UAE capital.

Abu Dhabi stepped up its electricity exports to Sewa in 2011 following Sharjah suffering from some of the worst power cuts in the Gulf in 2009 and 2010.

Sharjah has struggled to get its own power proejcts off the ground in recent years. Sewa’s last major tender came in July 2008 when it issued a letter of intent to a consortium of the US’ GE and Canada’s SNC Lavalin to build a 1,900MW plant at Hamriya. However, the contract was never signed and the project failed to proceed.

The emirate is also looking at alternative ways to produce electricity. In May 2014, Sharjah awarded a $505m contract to the UK’s Chinook Sciences to build one of the world’s largest thermal waste-to-energy plants. The client for the scheme is the UAE-based environment and waste management company Bee’ah. Ajman has also announced in recent years that it is looking at the possibilities of utilising waste-to-energy. The facility will recycle 400,000 tonnes a year of non-recyclable waste and generate 85MW of renewable energy.