To cope with growth in power demand in Qatar and to better meet preparedness objectives for the FIFA tournament and QNV 2030, the government is investing heavily in upgrading and improving its transmission and distribution networks, Oxford Business Group (OBG) said in a report.
Already considered a regional innovator in the sector, these investments have positioned the country ahead of the curve in the adoption of new technology, OBG said in ‘The Report: Qatar 2017’.
The ambitious fifth phase of the Qatar Power Transmission System Expansion Programme (QPTSEP) is progressing on schedule, and system maintenance programmes are succeeding in improving network reliability and preventing outages during times of peak electricity consumption, Oxford Business Group said.
Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has invested heavily in the programme since 2005, funding dozens of engineering, procurement and construction substation packages, cabling contracts, overhead line packages and consulting contracts with international engineering companies. Work on the programme is ongoing as of October 2017, with phase 12 coming on-line in the third quarter of 2015 and projected to be completed by the end of 2017 at a cost of $1.7bn.
Global technology company Siemens held the largest share of work on phase 12, winning a $520mn contract to design, engineer, supply, install and commission 14 new turnkey substations in 400-KV, 132-KV, 66-KV and 11-KV levels, including switchgear, transformers, control and protection equipment, and the extension of four existing substations.
In May last year, Siemens was also awarded an $863mn contract to provide 35 additional turnkey super and primary substations for phase 13 of the project.
ABB Group, a Swedish-Swiss multinational, has also played a significant role in designing, supplying and installing turnkey substations, as well as in advanced control, protection and telecommunication systems in earlier phases of the QPTSEP.
Qatar operates a modern and technically proficient power transmission and distribution network. The system benefits from a compact country service area of only 11,570sq km and modern infrastructure, much of it installed over the last 10 years as total generation capacity grew by over 140%.
In the second quarter of 2016, Kahramaa was operating 490 distributing transformers and 301 distribution plants across the country. Some 298 new electricity distribution stations were set up in Q2, 2016 and 297km of underground cables were laid to support the medium-voltage network.
This followed a deployment of over 2,000km of low and medium-voltage cable in 2015 that connected new substations to infrastructure-oriented projects – including the Doha New Port Project and Doha rail and metro projects – as part of the second stage of the phase 11 expansion and development of the electricity network.
Focus on efficiency and reliability is also driving sustained investment aimed at replacing outdated analogue equipment with modern digital technology. To this end, the country launched a smart meter deployment programme in 2015 looking to replace all analogue meters in and around Doha by 2016.
Government efforts are ongoing to substitute digital smart meters for all faulty analogue meters. Meanwhile, all old functional meters in buildings are expected to be replaced with smart counterparts in phases over the next several years.
However, smart metering makes up only a very small component of the investment required to support government objectives for an integrated smart grid distribution system. The ultimate objective for Kahramaa is to enable computer-based remote control and automation in electricity transmission for better demand management and improved reliability.
To do this, the country is investing heavily in smart grid infrastructure, including smart meters, distribution automation and smart city technology, Oxford Business Group said.
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