Bahrain to see $4bn worth of power projects

The work will help support the country's growing population and economic development

Electricity and water systems in Bahrain are being improved and expanded.
Electricity and water systems in Bahrain are being improved and expanded.

Around $4bn of power projects will be completed in Bahrain over the next five years as part of the government's plans to develop the Kingdom's water and electricity networks.

The schemes are necessary if Bahrain is going to be able to comfortably accommodate its growing population and support its economic progress.

Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza spoke about the schemes on 29 December at a press conference held at the Gudaibiya Palace following the Cabinet's weekly session.

He said: "We are planning to upgrade the main backbone transmission network to 400kV and the envisaged network will include the construction of three main transmission substations at the voltage of 400kV in Hidd, Umm Al Hassam and Riffa,” reports TradeArabia.

“These substations will be connected in a mesh network and into the existing 220kV transmission network in order to provide a better interface with GCC interconnection grid.

“This project will raise the capability and reliability of the power network in Bahrain and will reduce the issues of the high short-circuit levels in various parts of the network to a safe level, and thus ensure safe operation of equipment and higher operational flexibility, in addition to strengthening the option of commercial power trade exchange of electricity with other GCC countries.”

The total cost of this project was estimated at nearly $740mn, and is set for completion in 2017.

“This will be the first project to be financed by the $10bn GCC Development Support Programme, and financed by Kuwait, and the tender documents of the project have already been obtained and are being evaluated," continued Dr Mirza.

The Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) is also upgrading its main distribution networks in Bahrain's four governorates in a bid to reduce power cuts.

“The estimated cost of these projects is $265mn. The project is under construction and will be completed by the end of 2016,” he said.

Meanwhile, around $182mn-worth of improvements are being made to the the country's water networks.

“The main water pumping station in Hidd will see the construction of additional ground storage tanks and improvement of the capacity of the pumps to 50mn gallons,'" explained Dr Mirza.

“Ductile iron water pipelines, which extend 17km will also be constructed in Hidd, while 22km ductile iron water pipelines will also be installed in the Southern Governorate.”

Work on the projects will continue until 2019.

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