Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
To read Adam Bouyamourn’s report on an annual meeting that was far from dull, click here

RAK to build coal fired power station

The emirate will use the plant to meet its fast-growing need for power.

Ras al Khaimah, which is developing a coal mine in Indonesia, will build a coal-fired power plant in the emirate in the next two years to meet its fast-growing demand for electricity. It is the second coal plant to be proposed for the Emirates, where electricity demand has been growing so fast that utilities cannot meet demand and many industries burn costly diesel to keep the lights on. The country is expected to launch an atomic power programme later this year, but the first nuclear power plant will take about eight years to build. The coal plant will be built in stages, starting with one unit of between 400 megawatts (MW) and 500MW that would be expanded within five years to 1,000MW, said Madhu Koneru, a spokesman for the government-owned RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA). "We are already using coal-based power in cement factories and now we have a new plant in development," Mr Koneru said. "It will be a very environmentally clean project." The proposed electricity station would be by far the biggest built in the northern emirate, and would produce power more efficiently and with less emissions than the on-site generators the cement plants use to supplement supplies from RAK's grid. The emirate's decision to burn coal follows a similar development in Dubai, where the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority plans to put out a tender to the private sector next month. Mr Koneru, also the managing director of RAKIA's RAK Minerals and Metals Investments (RMMI) unit, estimated its share of coal production from the Indonesian mining venture would amount to 15 million tonnes a year by 2014, of which the emirate would import between 8 million and 9 million tonnes. That would be enough to fuel the new coal-fired plant and any other power stations in the region requiring coal, he said. RMMI and its Indonesian partner, a company owned by the government of Indonesia's East Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo, plan to export coal to other countries, possibly including India and China. RAKIA on Monday agreed to invest US$1.5 billion (Dh5.51bn) to develop 200km of railway for coal transport, and a seaport and industrial area in East Kalimantan. Mr Madhu said RMMI would pay about 92 per cent of the between $500m and $600m cost of the railway, which he said would halve the cost of transporting coal by road. The company is seeking to develop a rail link with the capacity to transport 60 million tonnes of coal a year produced by several mines in the region. It also plans to build a coal jetty at the seaport. "We will work with various mine owners for the transportation of coal and welcome partnerships," Mr Koneru said. Indonesia is among the world's top exporters of thermal coal, with 57 per cent of its supplies produced in East Kalimantan. Mr Madhu said RAKIA's investment decision was influenced by the lower projected cost of mining and transporting Indonesian coal, compared with buying it from suppliers such as South Africa or Australia. He said the sulphur content of East Kalimantan coal was low, which meant it was relatively clean-burning. tcarlisle@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National