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The Middle East's energy sector has witnessed a surge of fresh investments in 2012, with 97 new power and water projects worth a total of US$32.7 billion either being constructed across the region since the beginning of this year, or due to begin before the end of the year
In the UAE, 10 power and water projects worth a total of $1.5 billion will begin construction in 2012, including the $740 million Noor 1 solar power plant and phase two of the $580 million Emal Power Plant.
Morocco has injected $4.4 billion into seven projects this year and has placed emphasis on renewable energy, with the Ouarzazate Solar Power in Olant, and four wind farms in Taza, Laayoune, Tetouan, and Tangier, all set to go ahead.
Kuwait will initiate 19 power and water projects worth a total of $4.2 billion including the $2.7 billion Al Zour North Independent Water and Power Plant.
Saudi Arabia’s 15 projects that will launch in 2012 and worth a total of $8.8 billion include the $2 billion Al Qurayyah Independent Power Plant and the $1.2 billion Shuaiba 2 Power Plant.
Other countries in the region surging ahead with new power and water projects in 2012 include Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.
The World Energy Council has claimed that the Gulf region alone would require 100GW of additional power by 2020 to meet increased demand, growing at 7.7 per cent annually.
The population in the Middle East is expected to grow by 31 per cent to 500 million by 2025, which has forced governments across the region to ramp up investment efforts in building more power capacity, while the population growth has placed significant strain on already scarce natural water resources.