x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

More people in Dubai, so more power and water from Dewa

Dubai's state utility company Dubai Electricity and Water Authority increased the amount of power and water it supplied last year to cope with burgeoning demand.

Demand for electricity in Dubai increased by 4.9 per cent last year. Jaime Puebla / The National
Demand for electricity in Dubai increased by 4.9 per cent last year. Jaime Puebla / The National

Amid burgeoning demand, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) recorded double-digit increases last year in the amount of power and water it produced.

Dewa increased the amount of desalinated water it can produce by a total of 70 million gallons a day last year - more than enough to fill 127 Olympic swimming pools.

The company said the increase was a 17.5 per cent rise on its desalinated water production capacity last year, when it totalled 400 million imperial gallons a day.

Dewa said it increased electricity production capacity by 10.6 per cent, or 924 megawatts - the equivalent of the amount produced by one and a half ordinary coal fired power stations - to 9,646 megawatts.

Demand for electricity in the emirate increased by 4.9 per cent last year to 36,299 gigawatts an hour as the number of electricity consumers grew to 624,445, compared with 600,931 in 2011 - an increase of 3.9 per cent. At the same time the number of customers it supplies with water in Dubai increased by 4.15 per cent last year to 554,985, compared with 532,885 in 2011.

Last year Dewa laid 964 kilometres of medium voltage electricity cables - more than the length of the UAE coastline - to bring the total length of electricity cables used in Dubai to 24,942 kilometres.

The company also built one new large 400-kilovolt electricity substation last year, increasing the total number to 18. And it built 19 new smaller 132 kilovolt electricity substations in 2012, bringing the total number of these to 184.

"By enhancing the infrastructure and executing developmental projects, Dewa aims to provide its services at the highest levels of efficiency and reliability," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive of Dewa.

"Led by its vision to become a sustainable world-class utility, Dewa contributes to the economic, social, and environmental development of Dubai, by providing stable and uninterrupted supplies of electricity and water to achieve its vision and promote the emirate as a global hub for trade, finance, and tourism."

In January Dewa announced that it planned to spend Dh1.2 billion (US$326,708) on further improvements to power and water networks this year in addition to its operating budget of more than Dh12.5bn. In total the utility's spending this year will be Dh13.8bn - Dh235 million more than in 2012.

Last week the company listed a US$1 billion sukuk on the Nasdaq Dubai market that it plans to invest in new infrastructure projects and to refinance existing debts . At the end of 2012 company accounts show net debt stood at Dh20.6bn.

Last month Dewa said it had increased profits for 2012 by 6 per cent compared with the previous year to Dh4.65bn, up from Dh4.37bn the previous year. The company's net debt stood at Dh20.6bn, compared with Dh20.9bn at the end of 2011.

According to estimates from the Dubai Statistics Centre, the population of Dubai increased by 5 per cent last year to 2.1 million people.