Camels graze around power grid towers in the Kuwaiti desert (file). Kuwait is struggling to meet soaring demand for electricity and the planned projects will add around 3,580MW of capacity.
Kuwait has approved the construction of a series of power plants, desalination facilities and other infrastructure projects worth a total of around 3bn Kuwaiti dinars ($9.9bn), the finance ministry said on Saturday.
Like neighbouring Gulf countries, Kuwait is struggling to meet soaring demand for electricity and the planned projects will add around 3,580MW of capacity, as well as waste treatment and developments for the education ministry.
The ministry did not set a timescale for most of the initiatives, except for a sewage plant which will start by 2020. It also did not say how they will be funded beyond saying 50% of the finance will be raised through stock market offerings.
Among the projects, Kuwait plans a second phase of the gas-fired Az-Zour North power and desalinated water plant that has an initial capacity of 1,800MW. It will also build the first phase of the Khairan power plant with 1500MW of capacity, which will use different types of fuel, and the Al Abdaliyah power plant with a capacity of 280MW, of which 60MW will be from solar energy while the rest will be fed by gas.
Kuwait plans to generate 15% of its energy needs via renewable sources by 2030, with the first of up to 100 solar-powered fuelling stations operating by 2017, Oil Minister Ali Saleh al-Omair said in June.
A pilot 70MW project in the Shagaya desert zone west of Kuwait City was expected to be completed by next year.
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