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Wed 23 Jan 2008 11:17 AM

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$35tn needed to meet world power, water needs

WFES SUMMIT: Figure may triple if gov'ts and private sector do not join forces, firm warns.

As much as $35 trillion needs to be invested in electricity and water infrastructure worldwide over the next decade in order to meet soaring demand, a water treatment specialist said on Wednesday.

Sharjah-based Metito, exhibiting at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, urged governments and the private sector to work together, and warned that the figure could triple unless something is done to address the growing gap between supply and demand.

“Research has proven that $35 trillion is needed globally on electricity and water infrastructure in order to keep sufficient supply till 2030,” Budoor Hunnoon, corporate communications manager of Metito, said in a statement.

“Unless governments and the private sector join forces that number might double or triple."

Metito said the Middle East's forecast expenditure on water projects was $120 billion.

Gulf Capital, which owns 60% of Metito, said last year that $117 billion of investment in water projects was expected in the Middle East market between 2005 and 2010, an increase of 59% on the previous decade.

It said Saudi Arabia was the largest market for water and wastewater in the region, with nearly $28 billion, 24% of the regions total, expected to be invested in the sector over the next 10 years.

Gulf Arab states are investing heavily in electricity and water projects as they try to meet demand, spurred by the region's rapid economic development and population expansion.

Saudi Arabia said last year it needs to invest around $50 billion to meet demands on electricity in the kingdom up to 2015.

A Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) report estimated demand for electricity would increase 7% per year over the coming five years, driven by Saudi Arabia’s rapid economic expansion.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has said it needs to spend $27 billion on water and power projects over the next eight years to meet demand.

Dubai's state utility has said it plans to borrow as much as $19 billion over five years for investments to feed the emirate's booming economy.

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