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Bahrain to spend $4bn on power and water projects

Investment will develop infrastructure over the next five years.

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Bahrain, News

Bahrain will invest $4bn over the next five years to develop its power and water infrastructure.

The new projects are part of a strategy to meet rising demand stemming from population growth and economic development, energy minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza said in a press briefing on Monday.

“We are planning to upgrade the main backbone transmission network to 400kv and the envisaged network shall include the construction of three main transmission substations at the voltage of 400kv in Hidd, Umm Al Hassam and Riffa,” Gulf Daily News reports.

“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 is estimated at nearly $740mn and work will continue until 2017, he said.

“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,” Dr Mirza added.

He said the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) was also upgrading its main distribution networks in Bahrain's four governorates to further reduce power cuts.

“The estimated cost of these projects is $265m. The project is under construction until the end of 2016.”

A number of schemes to develop the country's water networks are also being implemented at an estimated cost of $182m.

“The main water pumping station in Hidd will see the construction of additional ground storage tanks and improvement of the pumps to 50m gallons,” Dr Mirza said.

“Water pipelines that are 17km ductile iron will also be constructed in Hidd, while 22km ductile iron water pipelines will also be constructed in the Southern Governorate.”

Dr Mirza urged the public to change their consumption habits as new energy-saving equipment will soon be introduced nationwide.

“We will start with ministries and government bodies and then households in obliging the installation of different lights and bulbs, cheap air-conditioners and enforcing thermal installations, which will later be introduced in homes,” he said.

He added that work on the projects would continue until 2019.

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