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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Consortium to build Qatar’s largest power and desalination plant

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Wakrah power plant
Wakrah power plant

Rapidly growing demand for power and water in Qatar has led authorities to commission the construction of a US$3.15 billion (QR11.47 billion) electricity and desalination plant in the southern part of the country.

Once completed, the facility in Umm al Houl – which is located south of Doha, between Al Wakrah and Mesaieed – will be the country’s largest, as well as one of the biggest in the Middle East, its proponents said in a statement on Monday.

The plan is for the facility to begin operating in stages between 2017-18. Once it reaches full capacity, the plant will produce 2,520 megawatts of power from natural gas supplied by Qatar Petroleum.

That’s expected to account for some 23 percent of the country’s electricity production, and is roughly enough power to supply some 2.5 million homes.

However, much of the electricity generated in Umm al Houl will likely be used to power the energy-intensive process of making seawater fit for human consumption. The desalination plant that is being built on the same site will produce 135.6 million imperial gallons of water per day – enough to fill nearly 247 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Unique case

This week’s announcement will likely be welcomed by those working in Qatar’s heavy industrial sector, following the shelving of several large-scale projects in recent months due to falling oil prices.

That includes the $6 billion Al Sejeel petrochemical facility, which Industries Qatar put on hold last September, as well as a $6.5 billion petrochemical plant scrapped by Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell in January.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

When these industrial projects were canceled, reports emerged that some of the utilities that had been planned to serve these facilities were also going to be put on hold.

But Qatar’s rapidly rising population – and the country’s growing thirst – may be contributing to authorities’ decision to move ahead with other projects, such as this energy plant.

Separately, the country is also building that mega-reservoirs to increase its supply of drinking water. Currently, Qatar is believed to only have a 48-hour supply of water, meaning a production interruption could quickly cause hardships for the country’s residents and businesses.

Earlier this month, a ceremonial foundation stone was laid at one of the five mega-reservoirs expected to be completed by mid-2018. The site, located off the truck route between the Industrial Area and Lusail, is one square kilometer and will eventually hold enough water to fill 500 swimming pools.

Recently released government statistics show that water and electricity production in Qatar both increased by more than three-quarters between 2007 and 2013.

The Umm al Houl plant will be designed, constructed and operated by a joint venture consisting of the Qatar Electricity & Water Co., Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Foundation, Mitsubishi Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The power and water produced at the facility will then be purchased by local utility Kahramaa for 25 years.

Thoughts?

20 COMMENTS

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Whatever
Whatever
5 years ago

I love how the benchmark for producing drinking water is the number of swimming pools that can be filled.

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed
Reply to  Whatever

That’s an American standard measure of liquid volumes, just like the standard measure of areas, “Football” fields…

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Whatever

It is something that can envisioned by people though, unlike some other measures.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

The main issue is the size of population for Qatar, importing so many people into an hostile environment is an environmental catastrophe, especially desal plants. Desal plants are a double whammy, energy intensive and along with the other perisan gulf countries leads to further salination of the Persian gulf. Not good for wildlife.

It is not doubted as the population grows that Qatar needs more energy and water but my preferred recommendation would be to limit the population growth.

Amin
Amin
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf??

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Amin

Officially the Persian gulf, although Arab states have been trying to usurp the name for the last few years

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Arabian Gulf

Yes, different conquerers had different names, most recently it has been the Persian Gulf and that is still what is customarily in use.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Arabian Gulf

Yes when the ottomans conquered the divided and useless armies of the Arabs it was called that but that was the past. Should Qatar be reabsorbed into the British empire? It’s hard to understand the point you are making, do you live in the past?

Arabian Gulf
Arabian Gulf
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Lots of emotions in your comment lol. Useless armies? The crusaders bowed to useless armies? You need some 6th grade history classes, debating skills too.

Pete
Pete
5 years ago
Reply to  Amin

Same same

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Amin

Internationally, bureaucratically, and customarily it is clearly Persian, though a few countries have chosen to go with Arabian Gulf, a convention that would be confusing and unrecognizable to most. Try asking someone where the “East Sea” is and most would have no idea, try ‘Sea of Japan’ and you would have a much higher identification rate – so it is with the Persian Gulf.

Jim
Jim
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Are you comparing East Sea and Japan with Arabian and Persian Gulf. Two different stories my friend and are not even related.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim

I am indeed comparing them, but only in the sense that there are differences of opinion in names. The Sea of Japan is the international/customary one as is Persian Gulf. Other countries may choose to use their own naming conventions, but that doesn’t make them widely accepted on a global scale. Looked at this way, the two cases are similar.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Deleting the rest of this thread bc it’s not related to the article.

Peaches
Peaches
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Good idea to limit the growth. I am sure once Qatar is finished developing itself and the work load reduces, everyone will go home so no need to cater for so many people.

Bingo
Bingo
5 years ago

Stop wasting water, Qataris should care for carbon footprint per capita,includes wastage of water as well.

Bornrich
Bornrich
5 years ago
Reply to  Bingo

Water water everywhere but only 1% of the earth’s water is drinkable. Amazing fact really. Water saving tip: share a bath with your neighbour.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Bornrich

You ever seen my neighbour??? I so don’t think so!

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago
Reply to  Bornrich

Containing the same water molecules that our Neanderthal cousins could have drunk………………..

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