Landmark power and water schemes

Landmark power and water schemes

Just two years after MEED was launched, construction began on one of the Middle East’s most iconic projects: the Aswan High Dam in Egypt.

This politically controversial and complex engineering feat took more than a decade to complete and entailed the resettlement of 90,000 people, the relocation of the ancient Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel and controlling the flow of the world’s longest river. Some 30,000 labourers toiled day and night to complete the dam.

While no Middle East power and water project since then has matched the scale of this undertaking, the region’s utility schemes are testament to the population explosion seen from the 1990s onwards and more recently a shift in government policy towards energy diversification.

A landmark moment came in 1996 with the completion of the Middle East’s first independent power project (IPP) in Oman. The Manah IPP has provided the blueprint for the dozens of privately developed power and desalination plants that have followed in the Gulf, the Levant and North Africa.

Today, the region is breaking records in the renewables field as governments look to reduce their dependence on hydrocarbons and drive efficiency in the delivery of power and water.