Like other GCC states, Bahrain has embraced the private power generation model and, rather than have a ministry for electricity, the sector is overseen by the Electricity & Water Authority
As such, the authority also has a chief executive in Sheikh Nawaf bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, who oversees four vice-chief executives managing the following departments:
- Electricity and water production and transmission
- Planning and projects
- Distribution and customer service
- Administration and financial affairs
After successfully bringing online a third independent power project (Al-Dur) before the 2011 annual peak in demand, Bahrain staved off the power blackouts that affected the country in 2010 and led to emergency supply being provided through the GCC interconnector. In total, the country now has 3,190MW of installed power generating capacity. Demand for energy has been growing at about 10 per cent a year. In 2013, peak demand was 2,917MW. The authoritys strategy, looking ahead, is to make the system more efficient, invest in renewable power and curb energy demand. To this end, the World Bank is supporting the kingdom in an Energy Efficiency Implementation Programme, launched in September 2013. At the same time, the country is building a solar energy farm at the University of Bahrain in partnership with Bahrain Petroleum Country (Bapco), the National Oil & Gas Authority (Noga) and the Bahrain Economic Development Board. It is being constructed by the US firm Petra Solar.
However, solar power will not meet rising demand in the short-to-medium-term and a new power plant will be needed. The planned Al-Dur 2 would bring another 1,200MW into the system and Al-Dur 3 and 4 are also in the planning stages. The Ministry of Finance is the driving force behind these privately financed projects.
For water, Bahrain relies on desalination, and Al-Dur also provided a further 48 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD) of desalinated water supply. Most of the current desalinated water is produced at Hidd, with its massive 90MIGD of output. Peak demand in 2013 was 143MIGD and available supply is 204MIGD.
Electricity & Water Authority
Minister for electricity and water affairs: Abdul Hussain Ali al-Mirza
Tel: (+973) 1 799 2100
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