Bahrain sees power demand soar

6 February 2008 – Bahrain, like many countries in the Middle East, is experiencing an increase in demand for electricity by around six per cent annually, works minister Fahmi Al Jowder told delegates at Power-Gen Middle East.

To ensure stability in power supplies, Bahrain continues to invest heavily in power and desalination capacity, as well as transmission and distribution facilities, Works Minister Fahmi Al Jowder told delegates at the opening ceremony for Power-Gen Middle East.

“The exhibition provides learning opportunities to visitors, who will be able to see and experience the capability of around 120 suppliers who have come to display their products and services.”

He added that the conference provided an excellent opportunity for delegates to learn and understand new developments and regional issues.

Power-Gen Middle East, which ran until Wednesday at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, has attracted over 120 exhibitors from 50 countries. The expo was expected to be visited by more than 3000 industry professionals.

Power projects in the region will increasingly be developed by the private sector rather than government, World Energy Council honorary vice-chairman Dr Hisham Khatib said at the opening ceremony.

“In the Arab region there is a need to invest $25bn in the water and power industry every year, accounting for some eight per cent of gross domestic product,” he said.

“Across the region we are seeing the burden for power and water production shifting from government to the private sector and we will see private investment from both international and local institutions and individuals.”

Dr Hisham, a former Jordanian energy minister, added that he expected as much as 40 per cent of power and water being in the private sector in the near future as regional governments concentrated on investing in social services like health and education.