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Utico and Shanghai Electric launch clean coal power plant

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25 October 2012

Utico Middle East, the GCC's largest private full service utility and solutions provider, and Shanghai Electric, the world's largest coal power company, announced a joint collaboration to establish the world's greenest coal-fired power plant in Ras Al Khaimah.
An agreement to this effect was signed in Ras Al Khaimah today between Mr. Rashid Mehran Al Baloushi, Chairman of Utico Middle East, and Mr. HanYoutian, Vice Chairman of Shanghai Electric, in the presence of high-ranking authorities from the Ras Al Khaimah government.

The event was held on the sidelines of the Global IWPP (Independent Water & Power Plant) Summit, which concluded in the emirate today (October 3,2012)and was attended by over 150 high-ranking delegates and professionals from 25 countries at Al Hamra Convention Centre, Ras Al Khaimah. The summit was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Saqr Al Qassimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah.

The facility will be located in the RAK Maritime City, KhorKhowir, which is growing fast as a major industrial hub with marine facilities and AlSaqr Port, the Middle East's largest dry bulk port. These facilities need power and water utilities to meet their growing customer demand.

Being environment-friendly and aiding development and economic growth, creating jobs and opportunities for the people are the prime objectives for this project, meeting the vision and instructions of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qassimi, SupremeCouncil Member of UAE and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.Supported by the Ras Al Khaimah government, the Dhs1.5 billion venture is expected to be completed in 2015 and will generate 270 MW of power when fully functional.

The project will utilise 100% carbon capture technology as nominal design capacity and 80% at operational point and this will involve the establishment of world-class power generation facilities and environment protection standards and related utility infrastructure. This project also will be able to lower power tariffs, thus benefitting consumers and providing support for economic growth.

Richard Menezes, Managing Director and Executive Vice Chairman of Utico Middle East, described the project as a milestone development that would enable Ras Al Khaimah to meet its utility requirements and showcase the emirate's commitment towards clean, green energy resources.

"Clean coal-fired energy is acknowledged to be even cleaner and greener than gas-reliant energy. By deploying Shanghai Electric's superior energy-efficient and tried and proven technology to for the plant, we are confident of reducing Flue Gas Desulphurization, carbondioxide emissions almost to zero, and setting the benchmark for cleaner energy to the world and not only to the UAE," he explained.

Coal-fired power plants produce almost 65% of the world's energy today but none in the GCC due to the environmental concerns and high costs associated with clean coal technology. Coal-fired plants generate power burning coal in a boiler to heat water to more than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit (540 degree Celsius)that, in turn, produces steam.

The steam, at tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity. The steam is cooled, condensed back into water, and returned to the boiler to start the process over.

The project assumes special significance for Ras Al Khaimah as it explores possible avenues to meet the growing demand for power from the emirate's industries and consumers. As per the terms of the agreement, Shanghai Electric will be equity partners in the project as well as provide the knowhow and technology while Utico Middle East will be joint equity partners along with several prominent investors. Utico and Shanghai Electric will also operate and maintain the project.Utico is the power off-taker of the project.

Utico is currently in talks with Dubai which wants to procure 12% of its power from clean coal as well as other GCC countries to implement this unique clean energy project at substantially lower power tariffs and that too environment-friendly, since gas supplies all over the GCC are not available, except in Qatar, which has allocated all its gas till date. This means alternative clean energy sources is a must which in a larger scale can be only through coal and to a lot lesser extent by solar and wind power, considering capital and tariff structures.

Discussions are also underway with the Oman government to finalise power,water and hospitality projects, which includes local employment generation and lowering water and power tariffs.

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