• Ahmad al-Jassar new Minister of Public Works, Water and Electricity
  • Predecessor resigned after being questioned over massive power cut
  • Kuwait needs more than 10,500MW of new power generation capacity online by 2022

Ahmad al-Jassar was sworn in on 18 March as Kuwait’s new Minister of Public Works, Water and Electricity.

His predecessor, Abdulaziz al-Ibrahim, resigned on 16 March after being questioned in parliament over a massive power cut on 11 February.

The three-hour blackout across the country was due to technical failures at a power station. According to Kuwait News Agency, Al-Ibrahim stated that an investigation into the power cut showing maintenance shortfalls, which had been referred to the cabinet and parliament, was then transferred to the public prosecutor.

Press reports say Al-Ibrahim angered parliament on 15 March by agreeing with a journalist who asked whether MPs had been bribed to question him. AFP reported that he replied: “That’s because we fight corruption.”

MPs then demanded his resignation.

Al-Ibrahim joined the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW) in 1979 and has worked in several key positions. He was appointed minister in 2012.

The MEW needs to bring more than 10,500MW of new power generation capacity online by 2022 to reach 25,500MW in order to meet rising demand.

Due to hold-ups in the procurement process, partly caused by public private partnership reforms, the ministry has had to resort to emergency power projects as reserve margins fell to dangerously low levels.

Al-Jassar was previously First Undersecretary at the MEW and chairman of the GCC Interconnection Authority.

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