Rising populations and major industrial projects are driving increased demand for electricity in the GCC.

Based on current growth rates, MEED has estimated installed power generation capacity will need to increase by about 40 per cent on the 297,367MW of available power in 2016 to meet the forecasted demand by 2025.

Over the 2017-18 period, power projects worth $54.4bn were completed in the GCC.

The most significant packages completed over the period were part of the UAE’s 5.8GW Barakah nuclear power plant development, which will significantly add to the country’s independent power capacity when it is commissioned in 2020.

The power station’s third reactor was the biggest power project completed in 2017-18, with a budget of $4.4bn.

Reactor 1 and reactor 2 were also among the top 10 biggest power projects during the period, with budgets of $3.4bn and $2.7bn respectively.

The 10 biggest power projects completed in the GCC in 2017-18
Project Project sponsor Country Value ($m)
Barakah nuclear power plant: reactor 3 Barakah One UAE 4,400
Shuqaiq steam power plant Saudi Electricity Company Saudi Arabia 3,500
Barakah nuclear power plant: reactor 1 Barakah One UAE 3,400
Jeddah South thermal power plant Saudi Electricity Company Saudi Arabia 3,200
Facility D IWPP Umm al-Houl Power Qatar 3,150
Barakah nuclear power plant: reactor 2 Barakah One UAE 2,700
Qatar transmission phase 11: substations & cables Kahramaa Qatar 2,200
Jizan refinery IGCC power plant: package 3: ASU Jazan Gas Projects Company Saudi Arabia 2,000
Facility D IWPP: combined-cycle power plant Umm al-Houl Power Qatar 1,950
Rabigh 2 IPP Al-Mourjan for Electricity Production Company Saudi Arabia 1,800

ASU=Air separation unit; IGCC=Integrated gasification combined-cycle; IPP=Independent power project; IWPP=Independent water and power project. Source: MEED Projects

The second-biggest project completed during the period was the Shuqaiq steam power plant in Saudi Arabia, which had a budget of $3.5bn.

Located in the Jizan province, the power station has a generation capacity of 2,640MW.

Saudi Electricity Company’s Jeddah South thermal power plant was also completed during the period.

The project had a budget of $3.2bn and, like the Shuqaiq project, forms part of a wider expansion drive in Saudi Arabia to address the strain on the kingdom’s utilities from rising demand for electricity.

The MEED Projects Awards 2019 in association with Mashreq recognise the best projects in the GCC. Reflecting the latest market trends, this year’s awards feature 17 different categories for entries. If you have been involved in a project completed in 2017 or 2018 that you believe deserves to be recognised, you can submit your entry at: MEED Projects Awards 2019.