A project that aims to nearly double the amount of power produced in Bahrain to help meet its future water and electricity demands is gathering pace.
The second phase of the $2 billion Al Dur Power Project is due to begin by the end of the year.
When completed by the end of 2016, Bahrain will gain an additional 1,200 to 1,500 megawatts of power availability per day, said Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
"Even now we have a surplus of 1,000MW per day, but with an annual growth in consumption between seven and 10 per cent, we have to be prepared for the future," he told the GDN.
"We are taking steps to ensure Bahrain does not fall short of power in the future.
"Our consumption now is nearly 3,000MW per day but we produce around 4,000MW.
"Increasing power demand is being fuelled by an increase in housing, expansion in industry and increasing population, among others."
Dr Mirza said funding for the second phase project was expected to be finalised soon.
A final decision on whether the second plant will be built by the Electricity and Water Authority or given to a private party to operate has yet to be taken.
Dr Mirza also said no decision had been made on the amount of water the second phase of the project would produce.
"Al Dur now produces 48 million gallons per day and Bahrain has a total production of 205m gallons, of which 150m gallons is surplus," he said.
His Majesty King Hamad officially inaugurated the first phase of the $2.1bn project in May last year.
Al Dur Power and Water Company owns the plant - Bahrain's largest independent power generation and water desalination facility.
It began commercial operations in February last year and has a capacity of 1,234MW of power and produces 218,000 metres cubed per day of what is said to be the highest quality water in the GCC.
International Power-GDF SUEZ, a world leader in independent power and water generation and Gulf Investment Corporation, the largest financial investor in power and water projects in the GCC built the plant.
Its shareholders include a number of local Bahraini institutions, including the Social Insurance Organisation, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Capital Management House, First Energy Bank and Instrata Capital.