ME ‘hot spot’ for massive power projects
Dubai, April 27, 2010
The coming two decades are expected to see the biggest ever expansion of power generation capacity in the Arabian Gulf countries with the coming year seen as a turning point, according to industry experts.
“With the economic climate changing and growth continuing, we expect to see a plethora of power projects emerging as countries put the finishing touches to their multi-billion dollar plans,” said Anita Mathews, exhibition director of Middle East Electricity, the region’s largest trade show for the power and energy sector now in its 36th year.
The main focus of Middle East Electricity includes power generation, transmission and distribution; commercial, industrial and residential lighting; water; new and renewable energy; and nuclear energy.
“Throughout the GCC countries, power utility companies are looking at having to meet the doubling and in some cases even tripling of demand and consumption within the next 20 years,” Mathews said.
According to organisers, more than 60 per cent of the available exhibition space had already been sold for next year’s event to be held from February 8 to 10 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
“We confidently expect the show to sell out months in advance of opening such is the intense importance of the region to the worldwide energy industry. It is easy to see why there is so much interest in the region with multi-billion dollar contracts recently awarded or pending,” Mathews remarked.
"As with all industries, the global slowdown has had its effect on the energy industry but in spite of the recent focus on cash-strapped governments, the region is a world hot spot as far as large scale projects and plans are concerned."
According to her, governments across the Middle East face massive shortfalls when comparing demand and supply for both water and electricity.
"Those governments are committed to developing projects to overcome these shortfalls and they welcome international expertise in doing so," she said.
"For example, Kuwait plans to spend $15 billion to double power capacity to 20,000 MW by 2020. Saudi Arabia’s power consumption could rise 57 per cent to 65,000 MW by 2018. The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company sees power demand more than doubling by 2020," Mathews pointed out.
"Dubai is tendering its first-ever private deal for a power generation and water desalination plant; and the UAE recently awarded a $40 billion contract for the GCC’s first nuclear power plants," she added.-TradeArabia News Service