$250bn energy investment needed in MidEast

The Middle East and North Africa region needs to pump $250bn into its power sector in the next five years to meet regional electricity demand growth, according to a new report.

The study by the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation said that over the next five years, power capacity in the MENA region will increase by 7.8 percent annually, translating to a capacity increment of 124 gigawatts.

The report was published ahead of Middle East Electricity 2013, the Middle East's largest energy event taking place in Dubai in February.

The total amount of required capital investment includes power generation, transmission and distribution (GTD) and accounts for more than 200 planned and announced energy-related projects in the MENA region valued between $100m and $20bn.

The report said countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council hold the lion's share of investment growth, accounting for 42 percent ($105bn) of total required expenditure, while Iran alone will require $49bn (20 percent of total value) worth of investment for power GTD by 2017.

"A young, urbanising and fast growing population combined with the massive diversification and industrial expansion plans across the MENA region has led to a spurt in the demand for power," said Anita Mathews, exhibition director of Middle East Electricity.

"Some MENA countries have been struggling to keep up with the escalating demand amid political turmoil in parts of the region. By catching up with power demand being perceived as socially, economically and politically desirable, however, we see a concerted private and public sector effort to ramp up investment in power-related industries."

Middle East Electricity's location will be shared by the inaugural edition of Solar Middle East, a three-day event dedicated to the regional solar industry.

With at least 10 solar power facilities worth a combined $6.8bn currently under way in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, Solar Middle East is set to become the largest gathering of solar technology suppliers ever seen in the region.

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