Middle East commits $180bn to energy projects
Huge water and power investment to secure MENA region?s future
New power, water and energy projects valued at $180bn are underway or in the pipeline in the Middle East, new research has shown.
Spearheaded by the $20bn nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, which began construction late in 2011, the UAE will be one of the most active markets over the next two years with 20 projects worth $34.2bn.
During this time, power demand across all GCC countries is expected to grow by up to 10 percent annually, the report by market research specialist Ventures Middle East said.
Saudi Arabia holds the lion's share of investment value in the region, due to the $100bn King Abdullah City of Atomic and Renewable Energy, which begins construction in 2013.
The research comes ahead of Middle East Electricity, taking place from February 7-9 in Dubai which focuses on the power, lighting, renewable, nuclear and water sectors.
Qatar recently announced plans to build at least eight power and water facilities worth $4.8bn in the next three years, including the $3bn Qatar Facility D power project, which is slated have construction started on in 2012.
The research said Bahrain has four projects currently ongoing worth $4.2bn; Kuwait has 17 projects valued at $4bn, while Oman has put aside $2.9bn for 13 new power, water and energy projects which will begin construction in 2012.
Anita Mathews, Middle East Electricity Exhibition director, said: "According to the World Energy Council, the GCC will require 100 GW of additional power over the next 10 years to meet growing demand. The power sector will require $50bn worth of investments in new power generating capacity and $20bn in desalination.
"In response, new contractor awards in the power, water and renewable energy sectors are being announced every month in the Middle East, as seen in December last year, when six new contractor awards were announced in Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq, valued at $1.5bn, while in January this year, five new contractor awards worth $130m were announced in UAE, Kuwait, and Oman."
Elsewhere in the Middle East, Jordan has nine projects predominantly in the water sector worth $6.1bn set to begin construction in 2012, while Morocco looks to make the most of its natural abundance of wind resources, earmarking $3.8bn worth of renewable energy projects over the next two years.
At the same time, Egypt and Iraq continue to move forward with power infrastructure plans as both countries commit $5.3bn each to new projects over the next two years.