x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ajman Marina to build its own power plant

A power crisis in the emirate means the marina will build its own electricity generating plant.

Al Bahhar restaurant is powered by a generator while the building above remains powerless.
Al Bahhar restaurant is powered by a generator while the building above remains powerless.

AJMAN // Ajman Marina is to build its own electricity generating plant to ensure it is not affected by a power crisis in the emirate, its developers announced yesterday. Hundreds of new buildings in Ajman are empty as the Federal Electricity and Water Authority and the local authority wrangle over who is responsible for supplying power. As a result, developers are losing millions of dirhams and businesses are being forced to close.

Ajman Marina, a Dh3 billion (US$817m) joint venture development, is the first to announce it will build its own power plant for its development. This should mean tenants will be able to move in as soon as the project is built, unlike other developments in Ajman, some of which have been empty for up to a year. Azad Nouri, the general manger of the marina project, said the company had decided to create its own electricity supply because it understood the public's concern about the power crisis.

Dr Ali Osman, the deputy director of Ajman Marina, said the project was still at the planning stage but the company had finalised its design and its needs assessment. The project would require about 300 megawatts of electricity, he said. "We have received about three proposals from different companies to undertake the power plant project. We are yet to decide on one," Dr Osman said, adding that it was too early to name the companies bidding for the project.

He said the company had not yet decided whether to build a diesel or coal plant, but this would be decided in a few weeks. The Ajman Marina development is expected to be completed by 2015 and the company plans to have its power plant up and running by then. The development, a mixture of residential and office projects with a five-star hotel on the waterfront, is a joint venture run by the Ajman Government and Tanmiya property company.

The electricity shortage has had a significant impact on property investors in the northern Emirates. Many have invested millions of dirhams, which they are having to write off as they cannot provide light for their buildings. In Umm al Qaiwain, a Dh30bn project by Tameer, the Dubai-based developer, Al Salam City, was put on hold in May due to the shortage of electricity and water. The delay in such a high-profile project, which was believed to have been 70 per cent sold, was a big blow to the emirate.

The Ajman Government signed a $2bn agreement with the Malaysian power producer MMC this year to build the Gulf's first coal-powered electricity plant. The plant will be ready in 2012. ykakande@thenational.ae