Kuwait is building its first new power plant in two decades and has tapped GE and Hyundai Heavy Industries for the $2.7 billion dollar deal. The gas-fired plant will have the capacity to produce 2,000 megawatts when it is fully operational in mid-2012, Electricity and Water Minister Bader al-Azemi said.
Located in Subbiya, north of Kuwait City, the plant will cost 762 million dinars (US$2.66 billion) and will start production in the middle of 2011.
Azemi said the plant would boost the Gulf emirate's power generation by 20%.
Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah said on Sept. 10 that Kuwait plans to double its power generation to more than 20,000 megawatts over the next five years. Projects already underway will add around 6,400 megawatts of new capacity over the next two years, the prime minister said. Other projects scheduled for completion in 2014 will add another 3,600 megawatts.
Kuwait's current production capacity is around 11,000 megawatts.
The premier gave no figures for the cost of the projects, but two years ago the then electricity and water minister Mohammad al-Olaim told parliament the emirate planned to spend $27 billion on power and water projects by 2015. Earlier this year, the electricity and water ministry said that power projects scheduled for completion in 2011 would cost at least $9 billion.
Kuwait, which operates a cradle-to-grave welfare policy, sells power at highly subsidised rates to its 1.1 million citizens and 2.35 million foreign residents.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009