Dubai prepares to add desalination capacity at Jebel Ali power station

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has unveiled details of a contract handed to an unnamed company to develop a new desalination facility at Jebel Ali power station.

The AED16.3 million ($4.4 million) advisory services contract concerns a 40 million imperial gallons per day (182,000 m3/d) capacity plant, to be completed by 2020. The announcement comes as DEWA strives to meet targets set in the Dubai Plan 2021 development programme, and Dubai prepares to host World Expo 2020.

Jebel Ali power station is the largest power production and desalination plant in the United Arab Emirates, producing 140 million imperial gallons per day (636,000 m3/d) of water, from eight desalination units.

DEWA wants to reduce reliance on multi-stage flash distillation for desalination in favour of more energy efficient reverse osmosis technologies, and to retrofit existing power plants with photovoltaic solar panels, in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.

“DEWA has chosen reverse osmosis technology, which uses 90 per cent less power than multi-stage flash distillation,” said DEWA chief executive, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer. Dubai produces 470 million imperial gallons per day (2.1 million m3/d) of desalinated water, of which 6 per cent is through reverse osmosis.

A contract to expand Jebel Ali power station, including adding two heat recovery steam turbine generators and one back pressure steam turbine, was awarded to Siemens in 2015, and is scheduled to complete by 2018, reported