The Business Year

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

UAE, DUBAI - Energy & Mining

The Necessities

Vice-Chairman, Managing Director & CEO, The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and DEWA


Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer is a veteran of almost 30 years in the fields of telecommunications, energy, and water. During his tenure as the Dubai Electric and Water Authority’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Office since 1991, he has focused on network and infrastructure expansion. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy, a member of the Government of Dubai’s Executive Council, Dubai’s Economic Council, Chairman of the Dubai Infrastructure Committee, Chairman of Empower, Chairman of the Dubai Nuclear Committee, member of the Higher Committee of the Emirates National Grid, Vice-Chairman of Dubal, Vice-Chairman of Emirates Global Aluminium, Director on Emal’s Board, Vice-Chairman of EGA, Founder and Chairman of WETEX—Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition, Chairman of the Dubai Global Energy Forum, and Vice-Chairman of the High Committee for the World Energy Forum 2012, among other positions.

The Supreme Council of Energy is focusing on securing the future in the energy sector for Dubai, adopting the 2030 Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy. What recent reforms has the government […]

The Supreme Council of Energy is focusing on securing the future in the energy sector for Dubai, adopting the 2030 Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy. What recent reforms has the government put in place to promote sustainable growth and increase industry competitiveness and how it has impacted on DEWA policies?

The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, developed by the Supreme Council of Energy under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, serves as a roadmap for the governmental reforms and the vision of promoting sustainable growth. It sets the strategic direction of Dubai toward securing a sustainable supply of energy and enhancing demand-efficiency for water, electricity, and fuel. The overall goal is to diversify the Emirate’s energy mix to include alternative energy sources, with 71% from natural gas, 24% from both nuclear power and clean coal, and 5% from solar power to fulfill Dubai’s electricity needs by 2030, while achieving an energy use reduction of 30%. The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 complements the long-term national initiative to build a sustainable future, announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, under the theme, “Green Economy for Sustainable Development.” Led by our vision to become a sustainable world-class utility and to effectively contribute to the social, economic, and environmental development in the Emirate by supplying stable electricity and water services to achieve the vision of Dubai, DEWA is fully committed to the visionary outlook of the Supreme Council and the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. In fact, I serve as the Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Council, and I ensure that all the policies and initiatives of DEWA are aligned with the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy. We place the utmost emphasis on rationalizing the use of natural resources, and identifying and implementing renewable energy strategies.

How do legislative regulatory environment changes affect the electricity and water business?

As proven by Dubai’s success in driving sustainable development, the legislative environment serves as a strong referral point for utility providers to encourage the rational use of water and electricity. What we see in Dubai today is a more participatory role of sustainable growth, where stakeholders from across the industry, as well as end-users, are increasingly aware of the need to conserve electricity, water, and fuel usage. They take up various initiatives that are aligned with the regulations outlined by the Council. I strongly believe that it is important to have such an approach, where the government leads the way, and the public and private sectors adopt these policies pro-actively, and work together to achieve the common goal of rationalizing the use of electricity and water.

To what extent has the acceleration of Dubai’s economy been beneficial to the industries that have a high demand for electricity and water?

The Dubai economy is currently growing at over 4%, led by a focus on economic diversification. This means, strengthening the traditional growth sectors of tourism, retail, hospitality, and aviation, among others, as well as building the pillars of the knowledge economy through education and information technology. Dubai has also been placing considerable emphasis on promoting the industrial sector, with a special focus on SMEs. This all-round growth has benefited industries that heavily rely on electricity and water, but what is of critical importance to these electricity- and water-intensive industries is their focus of on sustainable growth through concerted initiatives, to rationalize the use of natural resources.

Can you give us a preview of the new projects that will be coming to DEWA in 2013-2014? What new initiatives are you most excited about?

We have already set several new milestones this year including the opening by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance, and President of DEWA, of DEWA’s M Station for electricity generation and water desalination in Jebel Ali. M Station is the largest power production and water desalination plant in the UAE, and generates 2,060 MW of electricity and 140 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day. Developed at a cost of AED10 billion, M Station facilitates our goal to achieve a total production of 9,646 MW of electricity, and 470 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day, to meet the current and future needs of the Emirate of Dubai, including planned expansion to further drive the city’s urban prosperity and economic advancement. We have also opened our new Sustainable Building in Al Quoz, the first sustainable building in the UAE, and the largest government building in the world with a Platinum rating for green buildings from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the US Green Building Council institute, which has a set of rating criteria for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods in the world. The DEWA Sustainable Building achieved 98 out of 110 points. With an area of 340,000 square feet, the new building is part of our “Green Buildings” initiative to achieve the highest levels of efficiency in the consumption of electricity and water. The building has been completed as per DEWA’s Green Building regulations, with recycled materials accounting for 36% of the total construction materials used. The new project will achieve an energy performance efficiency level of over 66% by providing additional insulation in its walls and roof. In addition, renewable energy is available through an on-site 660 kW solar power plant, thereby reducing the building’s carbon footprint even further.

DEWA’s motto is “For Generations to Come.” How does this focus on sustainability to boost Dubai?

Our focus on sustainability conforms with the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 goals to reduce energy use by 30% and promote renewable energy sources. The advantages of such an approach for Dubai will be felt not only in the short term, but will bring tangible results in the long term, significantly benefiting our future generations. The emphasis on sustainability will not only enable Dubai to conserve its precious natural resources, but also reduce its carbon footprint, thus preserving our environment. It underlines Dubai’s thought leadership in sustainable development policy-making globally, further adding to the civic pride of the city. DEWA is already seen as a leader in the industry, globally, having achieved very competitive results surpassing the private sector, and even leading European and American companies in efficiency and reliability. This is demonstrated by our reduction of losses in our electrical grid to just 3.5%, compared to 6%-7% in Europe and the US. And our water losses have decreased to 10.8% compared to 15% in North America. DEWA has also accomplished major achievements in enhancing the efficiency of generating electricity and desalinating water, and minimizing greenhouse gases, carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen emissions by an average of 10%. This is equivalent to the beneficial effects of planting 82 million trees. DEWA reduced carbon emissions by 11 parts per million (ppm) compared to 87 ppm in Europe, 3.5 ppm of sulfur as against 13.4 ppm in Europe, and 72.4 ppm of nitrogen compared to 108 ppm in Europe. This sets another international benchmark, highlights our commitment to meet the growth in demand for water and electricity, protects the environment, and promotes sustainability.

DEWA offers the electricity and water that lay behind Dubai’s astonishing growth. What are the major opportunities that DEWA provides to Dubai?

The seamless growth of any city depends on the timely provision of electricity and water that supports businesses as well as promotes the quality of life. The growing demand for power reflects the prosperity of economic and social development in Dubai. Led by our vision to become a sustainable world-class utility, DEWA effectively contributes to the social, economic, and environmental development in the Emirate by supplying stable electricity and water services to achieve the vision of Dubai. We are now able to achieve a total production of 9,646 MW of electricity, and 470 million gallons of desalinated water per day, to meet the current and future needs of the Emirate of Dubai, including planned expansion to further drive our urban prosperity and economic advancement.

Since modernizing is a top priority for DEWA. What trends do you foresee in your analysis of the needs and expectations of citizens and businesses?

We foresee an obvious shift toward encouraging the rational use of electricity and water by end-users as well as businesses. We undertake regular surveys and analysis of the market to understand demand patterns. In fact, according to our most recent evaluation, demand for energy has increased in Dubai by an average 7.1% during the first quarter of 2013, with need for power increasing from 2009 GW in January 2012 to 2,142 GW in January 2013, 1,919 GW in February 2012 to 2,002 GW in February 2013, and 2,247 GW in March 2012 to 2,471 GW in March 2013. These figures highlight the capacity and efficiency of DEWA’s transmission networks to meet the growing demand of different segments of consumers, and our commitment to ensuring the provision of electricity for various industrial, economic, residential, and service sectors, complementing the Emirate’s rapidly developing pace. We will continue to expand our transmission and distribution networks in line with the expansion of urban areas in the city.



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