$4bn boost for energy sector

BAHRAIN has invested $4 billion this year in meeting increasing demand for electricity and water – and is on track to fund future energy projects.

This was revealed by Al Dur Power and Water Company chief executive Jurgen De Vyt during a virtual meeting organised by the Rotary Club of Manama.

Al Dur produces a third of the country’s electricity and water needs with a combined capacity of 1,243GW (gigawatts) of power per day and 48MIGD (Million Imperial Gallons per Day) of water.

The plant uses natural gas supplied by Tatweer to generate electricity and water which are then sold to the Electricity and Water Authority.

“Bahrain implemented with great success the independent power plant model by moving away from 100 per cent state ownership of power and water assets before 2006,” he said.

“Over the last several years, Bahrain has focused on attracting foreign direct investments in the sector on a long-term basis.

Demand

“This year, about $4bn has been invested in meeting the increase in demand for electricity and water.”

The second phase of Al Dur Power and Water plant is under construction and expected to be completed by 2022, said Mr De Vyt.

In addition, there are other projects underway aimed at converting sea water into potable water.

Mr De Vyt also referred to another project unrelated to Al Dur – a 100MW (megawatts) solar PV (photovoltaic) power plant at the Askar landfill site which will complement the infrastructure.

The government has approved plans to build the solar power station as a public private partnership project, which will provide for 2.5 per cent of the country’s electricity needs by 2025.

He said once the solar plant becomes operational it could help the country achieve its goal of increasing the share of renewable energy to 10pc by 2030.

He added that Bahrain had good potential to use wind energy, by building massive offshore power plants with wind turbines.

The official pointed out that even if Bahrain’s natural gas wells ran out, it would not cause any disruption to the production of energy.

“The government has taken steps to provide power in case the gas wells are depleted; the new Bahrain LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal will help import gas.”

Current projections on the availability of gas reserves suggest that Bahrain will no longer be able to meet its domestic consumption, and will have to eventually rely on imported gas.

Artificial intelligence was being used to boost Al Dur plant’s efficiency, said Mr De Vyt adding that Bahrainisation was 60pc of the plant’s current workforce and efforts are underway to train more locals in the field.

Consumption

Club members were given a live virtual tour of the plant, and briefed on the seawater intake, cooling towers, the desalination plant, and other facilities.

Bahrain’s total per capita domestic consumption of water in 2018 was 250 litres per day, and 5,189kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity.

Since 2016, electricity and water rates have been increasing annually, with the final increase enforced in March last year as part of measures adopted by the government in 2015 to offset the drop in oil prices.

Consumers in Bahrain also started paying VAT (value-added tax) at the rate of 5pc on the utility bills, among other products and services, from January 1 last year.

 

Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/875314/$4bn-boost-for-energy-sector

 

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