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RAK's gas power plant fires up

Ras al Khaimah's 45-megawatt open cycle gas-fired power plant, Al Hamra 1, has begun to deliver its first energy today.

Ras al Khaimah's 45-megawatt open cycle gas-fired power plant, Al Hamra 1, has begun to deliver its first energy today. The emirate has suffered from a chronic power shortage as development outpaced supply, resulting in intermitent electricity cuts and long delays in housing projects getting connected to the grid. "We have started generating power today," said Zakkir Hussainthe general manager of Electro RAK and advisor for water and power of Ras al Khaima Investment authority (RAKIA). "22.5 megawatts are already being supplied." The plant was constructed in less than eight months by Independent Power Corporation, a UK-based energy developer. "We have been testing the two General Electric LM 2500 gas turbines for three weeks," Peter Earl, the managing director of IPC said. "The first one is already supplying power into the Ras al Khaimah grid. The second turbine is fired and tested, and ready to go but we are waiting until the grid connections are completed." The cost of the plant is estimated at around US$40 million (Dh146m). The majority of the power will serve the residential area of Al Hamra Village, and the Al Hamra Mall, located in the western part of the city. According to Mr Hussain, an additional 120 MW will come in 12 months with Al Hamra 2 plant, that will serve the Industrial area. RAKIA last year announced plans for four power plants including Al Hamra 1 and 2. The emirate has a need for 200MW, Mr Earl said. Supply was cut back 25 per cent last year by Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA), and by another 10 per cent this year. ngillet@thenational.ae

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