State of Qatar
Surrounded by the calm blue sea where the sun always shines, Qatar invites you to experience a once in a lifetime event that will cause a whirlwind of excitement to capture the peaceful peninsula.
Located in the Middle East, Qatar projects from the Saudi Arabian mainland with a 60 km land border. Covering 11,521 square kilometers, Qatar is small but its growing influence extends well beyond the Gulf region.
With spectacular limestone outcrops in the west, and its characteristic crescent sand dunes in the south, Qatar is a land of character, culture and opportunity.
Qatar's Energy Sector
1) Independent Water Producers (IWPs)
2) Independent Water and Power Projects (IWPPs)
The latter being more common given the traditional link between water and power production in Qatar.
The country’s main utilities producer is Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), which is also the second-largest power and water firm in the MENA region. Within Qatar, according to the company, it has a 62% share of the electricity market and 79% of the water market. Founded in 1990 as the first such private firm in the region, QEWC was ceded control of Kahramaa’s production units in 2002, and today is a public shareholding company owned 52% by the state and 48% by private firms and individuals. In turn, it holds part-ownership in six other local utilities producers.
Between its various in-country facilities, QEWC produces 5432 MW of electricity and 258m gallons of water per day. It also directly owns and operates six plants:
a) Ras Abu Fontas (RAF) A, with a daily capacity of 497 MW of electricity and 55m gallons of water;
b) RAF A1, with a capacity of 45m gallons;
c) RAF A2, with 36m gallons;
d) RAF B, with 609 MW of electricity and 33m gallons;
e) RAF B1, with 376.5 MW;
f) RAF B2, with 567 MW and 30m gallons.
Other IWPPs have a substantial presence on the supply side. Ras Girtas Power Company runs the largest power generation project in the region, with capacity of 2730 MW a day, alongside 63m gallons of water production. The country’s third-largest producer by electricity generation capacity (QEWC comes second with its six plants totalling 2050 MW) is Mesaieed Power Company, with 2007 MW. QP owner is fourth with 1025 MW per day alongside 60m gallons of water, followed by Ras Laffan Power Company with 756 MW and 40m gallons per day.
Driven by rapid economic and population growth demand for electricity has grown rapidly, more than quadrupling in the 12 years to 2012, to 32bn KWh, according to the EIA. This rose to some 36.1bn KWh in 2014, according to Kahramaa’s annual report for that year, up 12.1% on 2013, while peak electricity demand reached 6740 MW, a rise of 12.3%. The peak demand increased again in 2015 to around 7000 MW, according to QEWC, with 6-8% growth expected in 2016. The majority of power is consumed by residents. Of the total generated in 2014 – the latest year for which data is available – some 57% went to residents, 30% to industry, 7% to auxiliary consumers and 6% to transmission losses.
Total water consumption in Qatar rose to 535m cu metres in 2015, according to Kahramaa data, up from 195m cu metres in 2005. At present Qatar has enough potable water stored in reserve to supply the country for 48 hours, and though it has ample production capacity to meet demand, any interruption of operations at these units could have an adverse effect on businesses and resident life.
One way to achieve Qatar’s goals to reduce use of fossil fuels is through solar power, especially given the abundant sunshine in the country. According to the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the annual solar energy potential of each square kilometre of Qatari soil is equivalent to 1.5m barrels of oil. Recognizing this, authorities have been pushing major projects in this segment, announcing in December 2012 a huge investment plan with a goal of producing some 1800 MW of power from solar sources by 2020 – the equivalent of 2% of Qatar’s forecast energy needs. Targets rise to meeting 20% of energy demand with solar power by 2030. This new capacity will help meet demand from the utilities sector, which currently accounts for about 40% of domestic consumption, and would have a significant effect on cost margins and sustainability.
In December 2015 QEWC signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar Petroleum for the establishment of a new 60:40 joint venture to pursue solar power projects with initial capital of QR1.82bn ($500m).