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ONE OF THE biggest challenges for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) is to ensure that it has enough capacity to take care of the utility needs of a rapidly growing city like Dubai. It has budgeted US$2 billion this year to spend on new projects as part of its spending plan over the next several years.

The centrepiece of this investment is the Dh20-billion Hassyan power generation and water desalination plant in Jebel Ali. Dewa has delayed awarding of contracts for this project by a year. According to Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer, Dewa, Dubai is well-placed from a supply perspective to meet its power and water requirements and the delay is not going to affect the ongoing real estate and industrial developments. With local construction activity weakening due to an economic slowdown, utility consumption is also expected to grow at a slower pace this year.