GDF Suez eyes big Mideast business
Paris, April 17, 2013
French gas and power utility GDF Suez expects strong demand for power in the Middle East will allow it to sell thousands of megawatts worth of new gas-fired power stations in the region, a company executive was quoted as saying.
Dirk Beeuwsaert, head of GDF Suez's international energy business, told French daily Les Echos he expects the Middle East will need about 6,000 megawatts (MW) of new capacity per year for the next five to 10 years, due to the region's fast growth and the massive use of air-conditioning.
"Considering our strong position in the region, we expect to capture up to 40 per cent of that growth," Beeuwsaert said.
Saudi Arabia alone is expected to need 3,000 MW of new capacity per year. One thousand megawatts roughly corresponds to the output of one large nuclear plant.
Most of the expected tenders will concern gas-fired power stations that also desalinate sea water, like the 2,500 MW Al Khiran project in Kuwait for which a consortium will be put together in coming months, Beeuwsaert said.
The company is also banking on renewable energy, as Gulf states have large ambitions in that area.
GDF Suez said in a statement it had started commercial operation of three gas-fired power plants - two in Oman and one in Saudi Arabia - with a total capacity of 3,217 MW.
The total capital investment for the three projects amounts to $3.8 billion, more than 70 per cent funded with debt.-Reuters