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GCC states need to invest $100 billion to meet electricity demand
Doha, 28 November 2000

The Gulf Arab states must invest $100 billion in the next 10 years and speed up privatization of their power sector to meet rapidly growing demand, a regional body said. The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consultancy (GOIC) said in a monthly bulletin that the six nations also needed to streamline operations in the power sector and implement a planned regional power grid project.

The Doha-based GOIC promotes industrial cooperation between Gulf Arab states. It comprises the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states - Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

“To satisfy projected demand in the coming decade the essential investment needed for the generation of electricity in the GCC region is estimated at $100 billion,” the study said. GOIC said demand for electricity in the region was growing at an average seven per cent a year and required investments of some $10.5 billion per annum. It said current installed capacity in Gulf Arab states of around 41,000 megawatts - more than half of it in Saudi Arabia - should be increased by another 26,000 megawatts over the next five years to meet projected demand.

The English newspaper 'Gulf News' quoted GOIC as urging governments to speed up privatization and implement a planned regional grid.

“The project of a unified electricity grid in the first stage is envisaged to preserve more than $2.5 billion for the co-signatory states,” GOIC said. The project, which Gulf Arab states have been studying since 1991, would enable GCC states to exchange surplus electricity.

Source: SPA

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 June 28, 2001 15:37:00