The UAE’s Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (Sewa) has awarded Japan’s Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPC) and Egypt’s Elsewedy a contract for construction of a 1.03GW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant for start-up in mid-2021. The project will be partly financed with a loan from Japan’s export credit agency JBIC. While Sewa operates 2.77GW of mainly gas-fired powergen capacity, it imports electricity from Abu Dhabi to help meet demand. In January, Sewa contracted US firm General Electric and Japan’s Sumitomo to build a 1.8GW CCGT plant, for which the first of three units is due online in May 2021 as it seeks to reduce reliance for electricity on Abu Dhabi (MEES, 8 February).

The new plants are likely to increase Sharjah’s gas imports, with the two plants requiring as much as 380mn cfd of gas to operate at full capacity. Most of Sharjah’s gas is imported via Abu Dhabi through the Dolphin pipeline from Qatar. Sharjah-based Dana Gas recently announced that its offshore Zora gas field will be shut in this year after only three years of production. Sharjah’s only gas production will then be from three onshore fields operated by state firm SNOC (MEES, 15 February). SNOC has plans to begin LNG imports next year (MEES, 25 January). (CONTINUED - 213 WORDS)