Qatar says $3.9bn power plant to help Gulf grid
Doha, May 4, 2009
Qatar's $3.9 billion power and water plant, the country's largest, will help provide electricity to other Gulf Arab states through a regional grid, the country's oil minister said on Monday.
The plant, which is scheduled to be in full operation by 2011, could supply power to neighbouring countries outside peak hours, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported.
The plant, which is planned to start operations in early 2010, will produce 2,730 MW of electricity, meeting 30 per cent of Qatar's electricity needs, Attiyah said.
It will also produce 63 million gallons of water a day, meeting 20 per cent of the country's water needs.
Gulf Arab countries have hooked up the first phase of a $1.4 billion regional power grid, which will begin full operation in May 2010, hoping it will help them meet spiralling power needs, especially in the peak summer months.
Links under the first phase between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar were being tested ahead of operation this summer. Oman and the United Arab Emirates would link up later.
Kuwait hopes to sign a deal soon to import electricity from Qatar to help meet peak summer demand, an electricity ministry official said last week, in the first agreement to use the new Gulf power grid.
Kuwait, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, has one of the highest per capita power consumption rates in the world and has struggled to keep up with growing demand.
Qatar, which sits on the world's third-largest gas reserves, is one of the few countries in the Gulf Arab region that has excess power capacity to sell.-Reuters