By Lani Rose R Dizon I The Peninsula
Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will soon inaugurate the QR11bn Umm Al-Houl Power project, which is one of the largest desalination and power generation plants in the region, Minister of Energy Affairs and Chairman of Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) H E Saad Bin Sherida Al Kaabi said here yesterday.
Addressing the QEWC General Assembly meeting, the Minister said the project which was commissioned last summer will generate a daily production capacity of 136m gallons of water and 2520 MW of electricity. Its full production capacity will supply Qatar’s 30 percent of electricity needs and 40 percent of water requirements.
The Minister also announced that in line with the company’s plans to update its existing plants in accordance with local and international environmental standards, the old plant of Ras Abu Fontas (A) is decommissioned to be replaced with a new project. Demolition and removal of the plant is expected to be completed in April.
The main contract for the redevelopment of Ras Abu Fontas (A) plant is expected to be awarded by the year-end.
Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event, QEWC Managing Director Fahad bin Hamad Al Mohannadi said that the cost for the redevelopment project is likely to exceed $2bn. He said, “The cost is going to be subjected to the bidding. We expect it to be around $2.5bn but it will go through bidding. The new project is expected to reach 2000MW of electricity and 60mn gallons of water. Water capacity could be increased to 120 million gallons in case of canceling the addition of 60 million gallons of expansion project of Umm al-Houl. The cost is not fixed now. And the cost is not important. What’s important is there is effective bidding and participation with pre-qualified companies”.
Earlier, the Minister also highlighted the current expansion projects being undertaken by the QEWC. He said the completion of the first phase for the solar energy project ‘Siraj Power’, which has a capacity of 350MW is expected in the fourth quarter of 2020, while the whole project will be completed at a total capacity of 700 MW in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Through its foreign investment arm Nebras Power, QEWC is also seeking to expand in the global markets through its acquired investments with the AM Solar Project in Jordan, the Sumbagot Power Project in Indonesia, and the Zain project in the Netherlands.
The company has also entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to establish a specialized company to produce electricity from waste with a capacity of 50 to 200MW.
During the event, the General Assembly has also approved the distribution of cash dividends to shareholders, equivalent to 77.5 percent of the nominal value of shares which was similar to the previous year.
QEWC reported a net profit of QR1.53bn for 2018 recording an earnings per share of QR13.97 compared to QR1.61bn in 2017 with earnings per share of QR14.69. Sales reached QR2.60bn in 2018 against QR3.07bn in 2017.