Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has asked operators of the country’s four independent power and water projects to bid for capacity expansions at each of their plants.

Speaking on the sidelines of MEED’s Arabian Power & Water Summit, Qatar Electricity & Water Company’s (QEWC) Abdulsattar al-Rasheed said that the companies have until the end of May to submit proposals. The winning bidders will expand their own facilities.

Qatar power sector, 2009
Installed generating capacity (MW) 5,314
Peak power demand (MW) 4,535
Growth in peak power demand (%) 14
Reserve power margin (%) 15
Largest generator QEWC
Number of customers 220,000
Number of IPPs/IWPPs completed 4
Additional capacity requirement by 2019 (MW) 8,216
Estimated cost of required capacity ($bn) 9.9
IPPs=Independent power projects; IWPPs=Independent water and power projects. Source: MEED

Kahramaa has invited bids for 71 million gallons per day (MIGD) water desalination baseload capacity to be online by 2015 and 95MIGD by 2016.

Developers have also been asked to put forward alternative proposals of 16MIGD extra capacity by 2013, 30MIGD by 2014, 95MIGD by 2015 and 454MW of power and 125MIGD water capacity by 2016.

The power companies in Qatar are under no obligation to submit bids for the expansion work, and Qatar already has more power capacity than it needs.

Abdulsattar al-Rasheed said that the reason behind this over-capacity was the impact of the global economic downturn on Qatar’s economy. Prior to 2008, Qatar faced rising demand and was struggling to meet the utility needs of its people. It has since revised down its growth forecasts and now has excess capacity.

As a result, the capacity building plans are focused on water desalination as opposed to power generation.

Kahramaa received a series of proposals to boost the production capacity of its three Ras Laffan power and water plants in March 2010.

The firms were asked to detail suggestions on capacity building for the plants they are working on, either by optimising the existing facilities or building extension projects. However, none of the projects at Ras Laffan were selected for expansion.