The privatization committee established in January 1996 has been made into a permanent committee and renamed the Privatization Committee for the Water and Electricity Sectors (PCWES). The PCWES is given a general supervisory and planning role in respect of the proposed utility privatization programme for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This role includes the proposal of legislation and regulations for the privatization programme, as well as proposals for the reorganization of government departments and projects in the power and water sectors. The powers of the PCWES include the authority to retain staff, to appoint outside consultants, and to delegate to one or more members of the PCWES the powers necessary to implement the purposes of the PCWES. The PCWES is directed to prepare budgets for its activities and to submit them to the Crown Prince for approval.
The PCWES is reportedly planning to start privatization of major infrastructure facilities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during this calendar year. A new power and desalination facility is proposed for privatization, and tenders from potential developers are being solicited. The privatization programme is intended to save the government billions of US dollars while delivering power and water services to consumers at prices the same as or lower than those at present charged by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Department.