Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/05/2014 -- The Qatari power sector is set for strong growth over the coming decade as the country gears up for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Heavy government spending, robust economic growth and a growing population will see demand for electricity rise significantly over next few years, and the government has outlined its commitment to investing in power infrastructure to satisfy that demand.
The recent announcement that the Qatari government is planning to build a huge US$3bn power plant, known as Ras Laffan D, has highlighted the bright outlook for the domestic power sector over the years ahead. Although Qatar is attempting to reorient its power sector towards the use of solar power and other renewable sources, for the time being the emirate remains almost entirely dependent on natural gas for its energy. With the economy continuing to grow at a robust pace, and the government anxious to ensure that the country is ready for the 2022 World Cup, this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.
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Although such a dependence on a single source of fuel for electricity generation may be a concern elsewhere, given the emirate's vast supplies of natural gas, this dependence is unlikely to translate into any serious risks to the sector's outlook any time soon.
Key trends and developments in the Qatari electricity market:
- Qatar is planning to build a huge US$3bn power plant, known as Ras Laffan D, it was announced in October 2013. Although details remain scarce, the announcement aligns with statements made by the government back in February 2013 that it is intending to make investments worth US$22bn in its power and water infrastructure over the next eight years. The planned upgrades include the setting up of 140 electricity substations and the addition of over 2,000MW of capacity over a five-year period.
- Qatar Solar Technologies - a joint venture (JV) between Solarworld and several Qatari entities - is building a flagship US$1bn polysilicon plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City. The plant will initially produce 8,000 metric tonnes of polysilicon per annum and is designed to expand as demand grows.
- Kahramaa has also begun the tendering process for the construction of the country's first solar power plant. The project will begin with a pilot programme to supply 10MW of power, before going forward with the large-scale project, which will have a 200MW capacity. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be tendered in Q114.
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