Kuwait looks to double power, desalination capacity

Aug. 19, 2014

Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water is hoping to more than double the country’s power generating and desalination capacity by 2017 to meet growing demand.

Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity & Water is hoping to more than double the country's power generating and desalination capacity by 2017 to meet growing demand, according to a new report from Business Monitor International (BMI).

To that end, an estimated $2.5 billion is expected to be invested over the coming years and greater private sector engagement will be seen in Kuwait's infrastructure and power sectors.

Late last year the government awarded a $2 billion contract for construction of the country's first independent water and power facility. The contract for the 1.5GW Al-Zour plant grants private companies a stake in Kuwait's energy sector for the first time in an effort to encourage investment.

This has the potential to set a precedent for greater private sector engagement within the country's infrastructure and power sectors, BMI believes.

Following power shortages in recent months, and with demand for power likely to continue rising rapidly, the government is looking to encourage further investment in the sector.

At present, electricity generated in Kuwait comes almost entirely from conventional thermal sources. In the medium-term, at least, conventional thermal sources will remain the dominant fuel for electricity generation. But the country is aiming to reduce its domestic oil consumption so that more can be exported, and many planned power projects will use gas.

The government has also set targets to expand the use of renewable energy.

Following Japan's Fukushima disaster which followed an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Kuwait officially abandoned its nuclear power program.

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