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Wed 16 Nov 2011 06:35 PM

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Energy projects buoy Abu Dhabi's power output

Emirate's peak power production set to exceed 10,000MW for first time in 2012

Energy projects buoy Abu Dhabi's power output

Abu Dhabi's peak power production will exceed 10,000 megawatts (MW) for the first time next year, buoyed by its ambitious energy projects and exports to the northern emirates, figures from its utility company showed on Wednesday.

"Abu Dhabi electricity demand growth is amongst the fastest growing in the world today, even faster than China in percentage terms," Keith Miller, director of planning and studies at Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company (ADWEC) told the MEED conference.

The emirate's peak demand in 2011 was around 9,800MW, up 14 percent over last year, Miller said. The production is coming from its eight independent water and power projects (IWPPs) and is mostly consumed by the emirate's own robust residential and industrial demand.

Power demand in the Middle East Gulf has been rising with population growth and strong economic economic activity fuelled by booming petrodollar spending. Demand usually peaks in summer, when temperatures soar.

Abu Dhabi's industry this year received more than 600MW, of which 500MW went to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which produces the bulk of oil in the UAE, one of the top five crude exporters in the world.

ADWEC forecasts show Abu Dhabi's plans to raise its oil and gas production will quadruple power supplies to ADNOC by 2015.

"In 2015 electricity supply to ADNOC will rise to 2,000 MW due to new projects... Shah gas, Takreer and others," Miller said referring to Abu Dhabi's giant Shah sour gas project and refiner Takreer's plans to double capacity by end-2013.

Residential and service sectors in Abu Dhabi received 6,140MW in 2011 while some 2,100MW of power was exported to the relatively poorer northern members of the United Arab Emirates - another factor driving Abu Dhabi's power generation higher.

"Electricity production is linked not just to Abu Dhabi but also to the northern emirates' economic activity," Miller said.

Abu Dhabi began exporting power to Bahrain in 2011. ADWEC's exports to Bahrain were 50MW in August and 100MW in September this year, accounting for 2 percent of total exports, Miller said.

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