Interview: Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari
Given estimates of future electricity and water demand, what plans are there to develop and expand the water and power transmission systems? What opportunities does this present for investors?
ESSA BIN HILAL AL KUWARI: Kahramaa has estimated demand for the next 10 years, and all required generation capacity expansion plans are executed at the appropriate time to meet peak demand, and fulfil energy requirements, reliability and security. Special arrangements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are already in place. Kahramaa’s electricity and water transmission and distribution network expansion plans are based on the criteria of demand growth, reinforcement, and the replacement of old and ageing equipment. However, there are annual updates to expansion plans for the electricity and water networks, as Kahramaa has a five-year rolling plan that is updated each year. In 2014/15 Kahramaa announced Phase 12 of the electricity transmission network expansion, and the Water Security MegaReservoirs Project, with its associated main piping network to increase the state’s water storage capacity. Kahramaa encourages local firms to be part of our projects, both big and small, by offering special incentives. Firms can apply directly to Kahramaa to tender or through a joint venture with an international firm.
Where does the Facility D independent water and power project (IWPP) stand in regards to tendering? What is the timeline for the construction and when is it anticipated to be fully operational?
AL KUWARI: As part of the country’s efforts to continually increase capacity, Kahramaa announced a new IWPP named Facility D in mid-2014, which, once completed, will have an installed electric generation capacity of 2400 MW and 130m imperial gallons per day of water production capacity. The total cost of the project is about $3bn. The tender is currently in its final stage and will be signed in March 2015. Construction is anticipated to start in the first quarter of 2015 and to be completed before the end of 2017. The new IWPP is expected to see its first production in 2017 and be fully operational by 2018.
What impact will the mega-reservoirs project have on water storage in the country? How does this initiative tie into enhancing water security in the state?
AL KUWARI: The mega-reservoirs project is one of the biggest water schemes ever undertaken by Kahramaa.
It consists of five main mega reservoirs and associated water pipe networks and connections. This will increase potable water storage capacity to about 3.5bn imperial gallons, ensuring seven days of unrestricted water supply. This can be extended to up to four weeks with controlled consumption. It will also help to ensure water supply reliability, as well as security.
The tenders for the five main mega-reservoir work packages have been awarded, and the project is being fast-tracked for a completion date of 2017. It is considered the largest water security measure currently under construction in the Middle East, which emphasises how seriously Qatar is taking this issue from a financial, social and security standpoint.
Given the degree to which electricity and water are subsidised in Qatar, what plans does KAHRAMAA have to adjust tariffs or incentivise users to reduce usage in line with conservation efforts?
AL KUWARI: We recommend what is needed to the state’s senior authorities and they decide overall what is good for the country as they consider the social and economic impacts of such subsidies. There are many initiatives that Kahramaa has initiated to promote sustainability in our own activities. These include: realising the Tarsheed programme to reduce electricity and water consumption by 20% and 35%, respectively, within five years; introducing solar energy on Kahramaa premises to generate 200 MW before 2022; implementing smart grids to adopt new renewable energies; improving loss reduction; and coordinating with local government and the private sector on renewables.
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