Masdar City named amongst top infrastructure plans
Infrastructure 100 report recognises slew of Middle East projects
The latest ‘Infrastructure 100’ report by KPMG, released at the World Cities Summit in Singapore, has recognised a number of projects in the Middle East region in crucial infrastructure categories such as water and urban energy. The report aims to showcase one hundred urban-focused infrastructure projects that are demonstrating an innovative approach to meeting the challenges presented by growing urban populations.
Amongst the region’s infrastructure recognised is Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, which is praised in the ‘New Cities’ category for its ambition to be powered entirely by renewables and its aim to recycle 80% of its water. Qatar’s Energy City, located north of Doha Airport, is also noted for its plan to become a regional hub for the global hydrocarbon industry.
With water security such a focus for the Middle East, wastewater projects in the region were also a focus for the judges. Bahrain’s Muharraq Wastewater Plant received attention because of its ‘crucial’ contribution to managing the Kingdom’s scare water reserves, as well as the fact that it represents an important Public Private Partnership in spite of a difficult political and economic climate.
Kuwait City’s Umm Al-Hayman Wastewater Project also appears on the list, with the current expansion project at the site taking wastewater treatment capacity from 27,000 cubic meters per day, to about 600,000. The report also makes the argument that whilst new projects are important, many water networks could be improved by working on increasing current network efficiency, with water leakage ‘an endemic problem for many countries’.
In the ‘Urban Energy Infrastructure’ category, Saudi Arabia’s Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University’s solar heating system is highlighted. The system is said to be the largest solar hot water system in the world, with energy distributed over eight square kilometres from a district heating grid supplied by thermal solar collectors. Speaking generally on energy, KPMG argue that utilities will need to work with governments and developers to ensure they have the planning capacity to enact changes to the power system.