The masterplan for the state of Kuwait is being continuously updated to take into account population growth and new developments in the Kuwait economy, director of the master plan department in Kuwait Municipality Saad al-Muhilby told the MEED Kuwait Energy & Infrastructure Projects 2011 Conference this morning.

Al-Muhilby said that the masterplan for the years to 2030 forecasts the population reaching 6 million at that date. This will require radical action to change the urban environment in Kuwait as a whole.

“Right now in the metropolitan area, most of the infrastructure is suffering,” A;-Muhilby said. “The electricity and water supply should be upgraded. The metropolitcan area is surrounded by a lot of constraints: oil and water fields in south and west and the Gulf on the east.”

“The solution to these problems should be outside the existing urban area,” Al-Muhilby said. “Only 8 per cent of the land of Kuwait is inhabited by 99 per cent of the population. So we have planned new cities, ports and industrial areas connected by new road networks to accommodate future population growth.”

Al-Muhilby said the masterplan has divided Kuwait into seven areas. Three of them are to be the subject of large-scale urban developments to accommodate up to 2.5 million people, Al-Muhilby said.

He said plans call for 1 million people to be accommodated in new urban developments in the south of Kuwait. A further 1 million are to be accommodated in the northern area which encompasses Boubiyan Island and the Subiya peninsula and will include Silk City, a special development sponsored by the Kuwaiti cabinet. About half a million people are to be accommodated in new urban areas to the west of Kuwait Bay.

Al-Muhilby said that gateway towns of up to 10,000 people are to be developed at the border crossings with Iraq in the north and with Saudi Arabia in the west and south. He said that the route of the proposed freight railway that will be part of the GCC railway is being revised and will be shifted further to the west than originally envisaged.

Al-Muhilby the latest version of the Kuwait masterplan calls for the creation by 2030 of more than 1.29 million new jobs; 315,000 homes; 580 schools; 8,613 hosptial beds and additional power and water capacity and sea ports and dry ports.

The MEED Kuwait Energy & Infrastructure conference has been organised with KPC as supporting partner. NBK is strategic partner. Agility and Gulf Investment Corporation are silver sponsors; bronze sponsors are ABB, Al Tamimi & Company and Gulf Bank. Mashreq, Drake & Scull and Mushrif Trading & Contracting Company are lunch sponsors. The conference sponsor is Ducab. Hill International; Pitchmastic Middle East, Tekneen District Cooling & Utilities and WorleyParsons are exhibitors.