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.