New electricity plant in Qatar by 2016


Qatar is intending to set up a new electricity plant with a capacity of up to 5,000 megawatts by 2016 in order to meet rising energy demands according to a senior official from Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC).

Work on the electricity plant is expected to begin by 2013 with Managing Director, Fahad Al Mohannadi, explaining the basic concept in a interview with Reuters, " There are plans to build a power plant to be used from 2016 onwards that is able to supply between 3,000 and 5,000 megawatts, or three to four years' requirement."

Qatar's state generation capacity stands at around 7,600 megawatts in 2010 and is set to increase to 8,800 megawatts by 2011. With demand in Qatar standing at 5,100 megawatts and is forecast to grow to 8,500 megawatts by 2015, Qatar is in the envious situation of having a power surplus. This point was expanded on by Mohannadi who stated, "We have surplus power and are ready to supply other Gulf Arab countries whenever needed."

Power exchange between Gulf countries is occurring on a more regular basis with some Gulf countries facing a shortage of power. Qatar's power surplus has seen the country send power to Kuwait in the past and Bahrain received 150 megawatts at the start of September 2010.

Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has budgeted QR15 billion (US$4.1 billion) over the next three years for new electricity and water projects.

Demand for power and water in the Middle East is surging and governments across the region are turning to the private sector to try and meet this demand. QEWC, the state run utility, is itself bidding for power projects across the region. Mohannadi highlighted QEWC's involvement in a greenfield power and water project in Oman and the possibility of building a 500 megawatt power plant in Syria.

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