The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will invest billions of dollars into its power sector in 2003. Construction of the $159 million Emirates National Grid is scheduled to commence before the end of the year.
According to UAE Minister of Electricity and Water, Humaid Bin Nasser Al-Owais, the government will announce and increase in the 2003 budget for the energy sector. Emirati authorities anticipate the need for an additional 8,000-megawatt capacity over the next ten years.
"After the country has been linked together, the UAE grid will become part of the wider GCC power network and later connected to systems in the Levant, Egypt and Turkey," said Al-Owais. The Minister did not allude to any plans for privatization of the grid.
Studies have shown Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will need to invest in excess of $130 billion over the next 20 years, in power generation, to meet rapidly expanding demand for electricity. Saudi Arabia, that has seen an 18-fold increase in energy demand since 1974, will, alone, require investments totaling more than $115 billion.
Al-Owais spoke after touring the Middle East Electricity 2003 Exhibition, which runs from January 19 - 21. Organized by IIR Exhibitions, the event is supported by the UAE Ministry of Electricity and Water and the Federal Electricity and Water Authority. — (menareport.com)
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