Qatar power reserves among highest in GCC

With one of the biggest power reserve margins in the GCC, Qatar is able to keep up with growing demand for power and water as preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup accelerate.

Even though power demand growth has regularly exceeded 10 per cent over the past five years, Qatar’s installed capacity of 8,761MW was comfortably able to deal with the peak usage of 6,255MW recorded in 2012.

Having a reserve cushion is part of Qatar’s long-term initiative toward developing a sustainable energy and water strategy, which will be one of the highlights of the discussions at the forthcoming three-day Qatar Energy and Water Efficiency Conference starting on December 8.

Qatar’s power reserves have enabled it to sell electricity to neighboring countries in the GCC which have struggled to meet rising domestic demand. However, although it currently has a healthy reserve margin, Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) is aware that growing demand must be adequately met with appropriate planning and preparations, as well as promoting efficient use of electricity and water.

“Current indications in our strategic and technical planning show that in the next five years, there will be a need for additional capacity – with huge schemes planned everywhere – particularly in preparation for the [FIFA 2022] World Cup. For the past three years, many of the projects were in the planning stage, but now we are seeing them start, including port and metro schemes and many others,” said Kahramaa’s technical director, Ahmed al-Naser.

Qatar’s next planned independent water and power plant (IWPP) is known as Facility D and will be located at the Qatar Economic Zone near Doha. It is expected to have a power generation capacity of 2,400MW and a desalination capacity of 130 million g/d. The desalination component will partly use reverse osmosis (RO) technology; it will be the first time the country has employed it on a large-scale scheme.

Ghassan Barghouth, President, Schneider Electric, Qatar, Kuwait & Bahrain, praised Qatar for being a regional leader in adopting and implementing an energy and water efficiency strategy. “We live in a world where innovative individuals collaborate to make the most of their energy while using less of their common Planet. Schneider Electric is one of the leading companies globally in sustainability, we are delighted with the opportunity to share with conference delegates our expertise in providing 3-dimensional efficiency solutions: managing the efficiency processes, creating collaborative environment and a standard efficiency view within an organization from the control level up to the CEO level, and empowering organizations to simulate a “what if” scenario for a better energy management decisions.”

While its power situation is comfortable, Qatar in contrast has some of the smallest water reserves in the world and is therefore addressing the equally important issue of water security.

In an effort to ensure water security, Kahramaa is undertaking an ambitious $3 billion Water Security Mega Reservoirs project. The scheme has been designed to provide seven days of strategic water storage within its network, which will shore up the country’s reserve supplies and protect against any future disruptions in provision.

“The reservoirs project is one of the largest in the world in terms of the size of reservoirs and will increase the capacity of water storage [in Qatar] by 10 times. So the storage capacity will be about 3,500 million gallons,” said Al Naser.

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