Bloomberg reports that Dubai is to launch the $3.4 billion Hassyan coal-fired plant, with an initial capacity of 600 MW, due to rise to 2,400 MW by 2023. According to the International Energy Agency, once the plant is operating at full capacity, it will provide 20 % of Dubai’s electricity needs, cutting energy costs for its residents.
Coal for the station is to be supplied by Japan’s Jera Co. on the basis of a long-term agreement with Acwa Power, the company developing the project.
Coal is considered the dirtiest source for producing electricity, but the new station is to operate on the basis of “clean” burning of the fuel. Pollution standards are to meet conditions normally imposed for gas-fired stations and Hassyan is to have fewer emissions than levels set by the European Union and The World Bank for coal-fired power stations.
Technology used with “clean” coal involves burning fuel not in the air but in pure oxygen extracted from it. Nitrogen compounds are absent from the smoke fumes – and after several stages of treatment only carbon dioxide remains. The gas is then compressed and pumped into a reservoir to be stored later underground at a depth of 1 km.
Other countries in the region have decided against construction of coal-fired stations and the bulk of electricity in Dubai is produced from gas. Oman in 2018 launched a tender for a coal-fired station but later cancelled it.