The QR1.75bn Ras Abu Fontas A3 (RAF A3), one of the major desalination projects to supply potable water to Qatar's residents, was formally dedicated on Tuesday by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani at Wakrah.
The expansion took a little more than 18 months. The station, using superior reverse osmosis (RO) technology for the desalination process, has the capacity to supply an additional 36mn gallons of water (mlgd) to the country's water networks.
The first phase of the project, with a capacity of 22mlgd, had been operational since September last year.
While speaking at the ceremony, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada expressed hope that the expanded project, which is one of the most advanced stations of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), would help effectively meet the growing water requirements of the country's residents.
The application of the RO technologies, said the minister, would help the station contribute to sustainable development in line with the goals and objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Al-Sada said the technology is cost effective as well as environment-friendly and it would help the station remain independent from the production of electricity.
The minister also indicated that Umm Al Houl Power and Water Project, which is currently under construction on the southern side of Wakra, would be fully operational in the first quarter of 2018 and approximately 136mlgd of desalinated water would be available from the plant when it is completed.
Already 36mlgd of water is supplied from the project, which is also using the RO technology.
The water production from Umm Al Houl would be approximately one-fourth of the country's total requirements. The plant also has a capacity to produce 2,520MW of power, making it the second largest of the country, after Ras Girtas on the country's northern side.
Also speaking, Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) managing director Fahd bin Hamad Ahmed al-Mohannadi said water and electricity production from their company has reached its pinnacle and the plants have achieved maximum utilisation in the more than 44 years since its commencement.
The QEWC is second largest utility in the Mena region. It is the main supplier of electricity and desalinated water in Qatar with a market share of 62% of electricity and 79% of the water.
The company has a electricity generation capacity of 5,432MW and water desalination capacity of 258mlgd, while the total power generation capacity in Qatar is 8,750MW and water desalination capacity is 328mlgd.
The available power generation capacity in Qatar currently exceeds its requirements by 2,700MW.
The company has experienced remarkable growth over the decades in line with the rapid development of the country's economy and growth in population. This has contributed to an increase in demand for electricity.