GCC states urged to build regional electricity grid

Published November 30th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Doha-based Gulf Organization for Industrial Consultancy (GOIC) has issued a report stating that the Arab countries in the Gulf region must invest $100 billion over the coming 10 years and speed up privatization efforts in order to meet demand and implement a planned regional grid. 


According to the Gulf Daily News, the GOIC reported that demand for electricity in the Gulf region was growing about 7 percent a year, requiring a capital investments of $10.5 billion per annum. Installed electricity capacity in Gulf Arab states equals some 41,000 megawatts, with about 50 percent of it generated in Saudi Arabia. That is forecast to increase by 26,000 megawatts over the next five years. 


Pointing to the inherent difficulties of operating in the region, the GOIC said the development of a power infrastructure in the Gulf Arab states is frequently stymied by inefficiency and state monopolies. 


One project, which could have an impact on electricity capacity, is a regional electricity grid. Allowing the various GCC sates to exchange surplus electricity, it is forecast that it will save $2.5 billion for the states that use it during the project’s first stage. 


In 1997, GCC had agreed to ask Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain to pay 35 percent of the projects first phase. The remaining 65 percent of the project, said its planners, would be secured from banks and other financial bodies. – (Albawaba-MEBG) 


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