Monday 23, November 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) participated in the 3rd Arabian Tunnelling Conference & Exhibition 2015, organised by the Society of Engineers, in cooperation with the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA), at the Grand Hyatt hotel, Dubai from 23- 25 November, attended by experts from the public and private sectors, and regional and international experts in tunnelling and infrastructure. This conference in under the patronage of HH Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Finance Minister.

This year’s conference was held under the theme, ‘Innovative Underground Infrastructure – Challenges and Opportunities.’ Approximately 600 experts from around the world attended the conference. A concurrent exhibition hosted a large number of big international tunnelling and infrastructure companies from 40 countries.

“I will start my speech with an inspiring quote from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, from his book ‘Flashes of Thought,’ “Creativity and ideas can build countries and institutions. The future belongs to those who generate ideas.” With this as a starting point, in line with our vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility, at DEWA, we are committed to building bridges in communication, and enhancing cooperation between different government and private organisations in Dubai, to improve the international presence of Dubai in all sectors, especially in infrastructure, which is the major theme of our conference,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, in his opening speech to the conference.

“At DEWA we work according to a creative strategy, and with a clear understanding of the major goals to be completed to achieve the vision and aspirations of our wise government, and the UAE National Vision 2021, to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world, and the Dubai Plan 2021, to make Dubai a smart, integrated and connected city. Within this context, for more than five decades DEWA has built and developed an integrated electricity and water infrastructure according to the best international standards, to meet the current and future demands for development, to enhance the presence of the Emirate and the UAE as one of the best countries in the infrastructure sector. The vision of our wise government, and cooperation between various federal and government departments in this sector, has served to make the UAE the first in the region, and fourth globally in the World Economic Forum’s Infrastructure Index, with 6.03 points out of seven, the highest score. Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, and the UK, ranked behind the UAE. As our wise leadership has taught us, we, must not rest on our laurels. We continue to work to enhance the competiveness of the country to become number one in the global infrastructure sector,” added Al Tayer.

“Infrastructure is the major foundation in the building of cities and achieving sustainable development. We, at DEWA, work continuously to enhance and develop electricity and water infrastructure through a portfolio of promising projects. One of these important projects is the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is one of the biggest, strategic projects in the world. It is an independent power producer (IPP) in renewable energy, and its capacity will be 1,000 megawatts in 2019 and 3,000 megawatts in 2030. DEWA is working on another pioneering project, the Hassyan clean coal power plant. Based on the IPP model, the capacity of the first stage of this project is 1,200 megawatts, and this first stage will be operational in 2020. DEWA has awarded a contract to expand its M-Station power production and desalination plant. The total capacity of the station will be about 2,760 megawatts when expansion is completed in 2018. These projects will enhance DEWA’s production capacity, which is now 9,656 megawatts of electricity and 470 million gallons of desalinated water per day,” said Al Tayer.

“To enhance Dubai’s infrastructure and, in line with the Smart City initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai the smartest city in the world, DEWA is now working to implement three smart initiatives. Shams Dubai – through this initiative, we aim to encourage household and building owners to install solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, to promote the use of clean and renewable energy.”

“Smart Applications and Meters to improve response times, speed up service connection, provide instant reconnection of electricity, and rationalise consumption through smart meters, to enhance the happiness and wellbeing of citizens and residents to support resources sustainability.”

“Green Charger establishes the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations. DEWA is completing its first phase and building 16 Green Charger stations, and will install a further 84 by the end of this year, a total of 100 stations.”

“Our intensive efforts have meant that the UAE, represented by DEWA, for the third year in a row, has ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa and fourth internationally for getting electricity according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2016. The report measures doing business in 189 countries around the world,” added Al Tayer.

“DEWA has achieved competitive results, which surpass the best European and American companies in terms of efficiency and reliability. This is apparent in the reduction of losses in power transmission and distribution networks to 3.26%, compared to 6-7% in Europe and the US. Water loss in networks has been reduced to 9.1% compared to 15% in North America, achieving leading results, and confirming our commitment to providing world-class infrastructure.”

“Concerning our special tunnel projects, DEWA is committed to encouraging cooperation between various parties, to carry out electricity and water tunnelling operations, according to the best standards of efficiency and reliability. DEWA has finished making adjustments to cable paths in the electricity and water service tunnels that cross under the Business Bay canal to tourist areas in Al Safa and Jumeirah. This was done by moving 24 cable paths, a total of 21.1km, and laying them inside 16-metre-deep underground tunnels. DEWA has achieved a new milestone by completing this project eight months ahead of schedule.”

“We look forward to your participation in this important conference today to discuss several topics, including optimal design and planning for underground spaces, best safety standards, best standards in the environmental impact of tunnel operations and building, and the best use of underground spaces, in addition to discussing the most important challenges and opportunities for improvement, to enhance the comprehensive and sustainable development of Dubai,” concluded Al Tayer.