Doha: Qatar, which now has a power surplus, plans to set up an electricity plant with a capacity of up to 5,000 megawatts by 2016 to meet rising demand, said a senior official of Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC).
'At this stage, there are plans to build a power plant to be used from 2016 onwards that is able to supply between 3,000 and 5,000 megawatts, or three to four years' requirement,' QEWC's managing director Fahad Al Mohannadi was quoted as saying in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Work on the plant is expected to begin by 2013.
Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has budgeted QR15 billion ($4.1bn) to spend over the next three years on electricity and water projects.
'We have a power surplus, even taking into consideration the growth of the country's population and economy. We sent power to Bahrain a month ago, and we have sent it to Kuwait in the past. Power exchange is happening regularly.'
'We have surplus power and are ready to supply other Gulf Arab countries whenever needed,' Mohannadi said.
The Gulf state's generation capacity is about 7,600 megawatts now and is set to increase to 8,800 megawatts by 2011. Demand is about 5,100 megawatts, and could grow to 8,500 by 2015, according to state-run utility QEWC.
An increasing number of governments in the region are turning to private sector partners to meet demand for power and water, which are surging in tandem with economic growth.