The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ambitious plans to develop its existing power stations and to upgrade their productive capacities, Minister of Electricity and Water Humaid Bin Nasser Al-Owais stated at the opening of Middle East Electricity exhibition this week.
“More than 8,000 Megawatts will be added within 10 years. Our investments will reach many billions of dollars,” Al-Owais said, adding that electric power capacity in the UAE’s Jebel Ali and Al-Taweela plants topped 9,200 MWs at the end of 2000, serving over 124,000 energy consumers.
The Minister also said that the study for the integration of the country’s national power grid will be completed by April. “We hope to put the project out to tender four months later. The cost has been estimated at 650 million Emirati dirhams ($177 million).
Plans are also underway to work with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in order extend electricity network and conserve regional power resources. “After the country has been linked together, the UAE grid will become part of the wider GCC power network and then connected to systems in the Levant, Egypt and Turkey,” Al-Owais said.
Studies have shown that regional power needs are expected to top 193,000 MWs in 2020, of which 116,000 MWs will be required for the Arabian Gulf area and 58,000 MWs for Saudi Arabia alone.
The Middle East Electricity exhibition and conference for the regional power and electricity industry began a four-day run at the Dubai World Trade Center. The show features 11 national pavilions and over 600 exhibitors from 37 countries.
The exhibition features a dedicated arena for new and renewable energy, water and technology or WET area. Introduced specifically to cater for increased Middle East demand for renewable energy sources, it will focus on solar and wind power, as well as desalination and water treatment. Also new is a high-profile environment technology conference.
“Exhibitor numbers are 10 percent up on the last show,” said Jessica Sutherland, general manager of organizers IIR Exhibitions and Conferences, Dubai. Middle East Electricity is officially supported by the UAE’s Ministry of Electricity and Water. The lead sponsor is Schneider Electric. — (menareport.com)
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