International developers expected to be able to submit proposals in March to build and operate power plant

Abu Dhabi will invite firms in March to submit proposals to build and operate a 1,600 megawatt power plant worth about $2bn, a government official has told Reuters.

Abdulla Saif al Nuaimi, director of privatisation at the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea), said: “We have started the process of prequalification and we are targeting sending the request for proposals (RFPs) early next month.

“We expect to finalise selection of the developer by November this year, [reach] financial close by April 2011 and commissioning in summer 2013.”

The Shuweihat 3 independent power project (IPP) will be Abu Dhabi’s ninth power project under a privatisation plan launched in 1998, which allows international developers to take stakes in power projects.

We expect to finalise selection of the developer by November this year

Abdulla Saif al Nuaimi

The UAE has embarked upon a nuclear programme to try to meet spiralling electricity demand.

In December, it awarded a deal worth up to $40bn, one of the largest ever awarded in the Middle East, according to, to a South Korean consortium to build and operate four nuclear reactors in the Gulf Arab country.

Water and electricity demand in Abu Dhabi is expected to rise 7-8% a year over the next five years.