x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dh15 billion investment projects for Northern Emirates

Federal investment aimed at addressing increasing demand in Northern Emirates will include water and power infrastructure boost.

Workers adding an arm carrying electricity transmission lines on the transmission tower in Lahzoom, Ras al Khaimah. Jeff Topping/The National
Workers adding an arm carrying electricity transmission lines on the transmission tower in Lahzoom, Ras al Khaimah. Jeff Topping/The National

ABU DHABI // New Dh300 million desalination plants in Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah are among a Dh15 billion raft of power and water projects planned for the Northern Emirates.

The Ras Al Khaimah plant will be operational in two years and will have a production capacity of 15 million gallons of desalinated water a day, Mohammed M Saleh, director general of Fewa, the Federal Electricity and Water Authority, told The National's Arabic sister newspaper Al Ittihad yesterday.

The Ajman plant will be the emirate's fifth. "Fewa's efforts to develop water supply networks in various parts of the country are based on a clear strategy that takes into account demographic growth and urbanisation," Mr Saleh said.

Several water distribution networks, including one in Al Rams in Ras Al Khaimah, will be replaced by next year and a new aqueduct will be completed linking Al Burairat to Wadi Hukeil.

This is in addition to the building and renovation of aqueducts that will link parts of Fujairah, Ajman and Umm Al Quawain.

Fewa is also implementing multimillion-dirham projects in the eastern, western and central regions, which include the installation of large reservoirs and aqueduct extensions in areas such as Seih Al Sarm, Al Zawraa, Al Jarf and Masafi in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quawain.

The level of development in the Northern Emirates has contributed to rapid increase in recent years in demand for both electricity and water, and consequent strains on the distribution network.

Mr Saleh said the Abu Dhabi Government had been a huge supporter of improving power supply to the Northern Emirates, in part by supplying 1,300 megawatts of electricity to the federal network.

"This has helped to stabilise power supply for the past three years," he said.

"The authority has come a long way in connecting the federal supply network to Abu Dhabi's Water and Electricity network, which has reached 80 per cent capacity," Mr Saleh said.

Fewa aims to take its full capacity from Abu Dhabi's network by the end of this year, he said.

Mr Saleh said a number of stations within Fewa's federal network had been linked this year, including the connecting of the Fujairah station with the main Abu Dhabi network.

The old Nakheel city station in Ras Al Khaimah was also recently connected to the Abu Dhabi network.

The director general also assured citizens and residents of the stability of the power supply during the high-usage summer months.

"The stations of the Federal Water and Electricity Authority will cover the needs of the Northern region for the coming period, especially during the summer," he said.

However, despite the readiness, he did warn that power cuts could not be ruled out.

"Last year, an incident in the area of Dibba-Fujairah led to a power outage after a truck hit one of the cable towers - that outage led to the interruption of electricity for the region as a whole," he said.

Mohammed Al Asan, the general manager of Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, welcomed the spending boost, and said it would create investment.

"These energy projects will provide for the stability and growth of the emirate," he said yesterday.

"Such projects that will secure water and electricity supply to the developing investments in the emirate complement the strategy put forward by the RAK Government for the emirate's future."

He said the projects would also provide stability in the energy supply to the people of the Northern Emirates. "This will increase stability for citizens and drive for more businesses to be established," he said.