Utilities' subsidies cost Bahrain $930m a year
Outstanding residential power and water bills total $200m
Bahrain’s Minister of State for Electricity and Water, Dr Abdul Hussein bin Ali Mirza, has said that the government subsidy for water and electricity currently stands at US $930 million in this year’s budget, according to the Bahrain News Agency.
The Minister was speaking to Al-Bilad newspaper as he urged Bahrain’s residents to pay up outstanding bills, emphasising that current utilities are provided with considerable subsidy. Outstanding arrears on bills stood at $370 million, with the residential sector alone recording arrears of $200 million. Dr Ali Mirza has said that the outstanding bills need to paid “achieve the requisite equilibrium”.
Bahrain’s utilities sector has had a quiet last year in terms of large-scale investments, following the inauguration of the Al Dur power and water project in May of last year. The $2.1 billion plant has added 1,234 MW of power capacity and 218,000 cubic metres of daily desalinated water, and has resulted in reports from Bahrain boasting of an impressive electricity surplus.