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UAE to join Gulf power grid in 2008

Mar 7, 2005 - Jamila Qadir - Khaleej Times Online

DUBAI - UAE is likely to join the AGCC power grid in 2008, while the UAE national power grid is scheduled to be operational by mid next year, according to the UAE Minister of Energy. Mohammed bin Dha’en Al Hamili, the minister of energy, told this correspondent yesterday: “We will first complete the UAE National Power Grid by mid 2006 and then will join the AGCC Power Grid (most probably) in 2008.”

Al Hamili was speaking after opening the Middle East Electricity 2005 exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre yesterday, also said that the UAE demand for power has been increasing by 10 per cent annually.

In Dubai power generation and installed capacity have been growing steadily to meet escalating needs as the population continues to grow at a high rate. Total electricity production increased from over 45 million KW per hour in 2002 to over 48 million Kw/h in 2003, according to the UAE yearbook 2005.

The latest estimate is that the Middle East requires an investment of more than $1 trillion over the next 20 years, mainly in utility sector, with a strong focus on power generation, distribution and lighting.

With such huge amounts being committed to infrastructure projects and governments seeking creative, cost-effective solutions to their power requirements, the opportunities for companies involved in all energy-related industry sectors, from the traditional forms of power generation to alternative sources such as wind power and solar energy are enormous.

New and renewable energy is of increasing importance given the recent opening of the UAE’s first wind power plant on Sir Bani Yas island, with plans underway to build similar plants throughout the country. The region’s first solar-cell production line also opened in the Fujairah Free Zone - covering 30,000 square feet, and costing $3 million to construct, it can manufacture 2.5 million solar cells every year.

The Middle East Electricity 2005, which will run until March 9, features 700 exhibitors from 47 countries and 16 national pavilions from the UK, Germany, France, Taiwan, Iran, Korea, Austria, Switzerland, the US, Canada, Turkey, Finland, China and India, in addition to the largest ever participation from Italy and Spain.