Bahrain plans $79m spend to avert power cuts
Manama, May 23, 2012
Bahrain is set to spend BD30 million ($79.6 million) this summer to minimise power cuts across the country, said Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
It has also nearly tripled its power generators to help people in the event of an electricity shortage, he added.
However, Dr Mirza urged people to stop overloading power plants, saying electricity failures could not be completely avoided - despite having the capacity to generate 4,000 megawatts of electricity and only using 3,150mw.
But he said plans have been put in place to keep the power cuts at a minimum.
'We have taken all steps to ensure that there will be minimum disruptions but we urge people to co-operate with us and not overload the system,' said Dr Mirza during a Press conference yesterday at the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) in the Diplomatic Area.
'In order to prevent power disruption, the EWA is working hard on the distribution network to strengthen it and do maintenance work. There is also no problem in transmitting the power from the generating stations to the sub-stations but it is after that where some problems arise.'
Dr Mirza said power distribution will improve considerably after plans to replace cables and repair infrastructure are completed.
'For this, we need to have a high level of co-operation from the people who should not overload the system and install more than is authorised,' he explained.
The EWA has also expanded its call centre operations and increased its staff from 35 to 45 people.
'There are also now more lines to take people's calls. We have also started adding more detailed information on short messages sent out to customers who complain about power outages,' added Dr Mirza.
He said the number of power generators have also been more than doubled from two years ago, taking the figure up to 124 from 50.
'There are more emergency repair teams and more people on teams as well,' he added.
EWA chief executive Shaikh Nawaf bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said Bahrain now faced only 16.6 minutes of power cuts a day, as compared with 37 minutes last year.
'This is a huge improvement and the situation is getting better all the time,' he said.
Shaikh Nawaf revealed that the demand for power in the country by 2030 will reach 6,500mw, as compared with 3,150mw today.
'We are already preparing for that with several projects in the pipeline, among them the second phase of the Al Dur Power Plant, which will be commissioned by 2017,' he explained.
He also said the demand for water will increase to 250 million gallons per day in 2030 in comparison with 155mgd needed now.
He said since last summer, the EWA set up three 220 kilowatt sub-stations and two 66kw sub-stations at a cost of BD47.7 million, in addition to plans to set up three 220kw and nine 66kw sub-stations at a cost of BD91 million. – TradeArabia News Service