HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani on Thursday visited the under-construction Umm Al Houl Power Plant of the Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC).

The Prime Minister was briefed on the progress of the work which is 99% complete.

The plant is set to be officially opened soon.

At the end of the visit, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser praised the achievements made in the huge project, whose operation depends on highly efficient and skilled Qatari engineers and technicians, and lauded the company's Qatarisation efforts.

Umm Al Houl Power Plant is one of the largest desalination and power generation plants in the region. Built at a cost of QR11bn, the plant would have a daily production capacity of 136mn gallons of water and 2,520MW of electricity.

Once completed, Umm Al Houl Power Plant will provide 25% of Qatar's electricity and 30% of water needs.

The plant has adopted state-of-the-art technologies that conserve the environment and ensure the highest standards in water production and power generation.

The project has the participation of QEWC (60%), Qatar Petroleum (5%), Qatar Foundation (5%), and a consortium of Japanese companies Mitsubishi Corporation and Tepco (30%).

Speaking on the sidelines of QEWC's annual general meeting in February, the company's managing director Fahad bin Mohamed al-Mohannadi pointed out that the economic blockade imposed on Qatar since June 2017 “had no effect on the project, and we had overcome all difficulties.”

Among other projects, the Ras Abu Fontas A3 Expansion Project, which uses reverse osmosis technology for water desalination, was completed on February 16, 2017.

The QR1.75bn project, which has a 36mn gallons of water per day capacity, was opened on April 18, 2017.

In the pipeline are projects that include a joint venture for a solar power plant, which is considered one Qatar’s “strategically important projects that adds economic value by diversifying the sources of energy and decreasing carbon emissions.”

QEWC chairman HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh-Sada said at the same meeting said company had completed the procedures for establishing the Siraj Power Company, which specialises in the production of solar power using solar energy, with a capital of $500mn, shared by QEWC (60%) and QP (40%).

“It is expected to start the execution of the company’s first project this year and to start production by April 30, 2020 with an electricity production capacity of 500MW,” al-Sada said.