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Tue 22 Mar 2011 09:12 PM

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Kuwait eyes increase in water, electricity capacity

Power chief says desalinated water capacity to grow by 75% in five years, new electricity plants planned

Kuwait eyes increase in water, electricity capacity
CRISIS WARNING: Kuwaits Ministry of Electricity and Water is planning facilities to provide an additional 40 million gallons of water per day.

Kuwait, named as one of the countries with the least secure water supplies in the world, plans to raise its desalinated water capacity by 75 percent in the next five years, a minister said on Tuesday.

Electricity and Water Minister Badr al-Shuraian said the Gulfstate is seeking to increase water production capacity to 700 million gallons per day in five years from a current 400 million gallons, the state news agency KUNA said.

"The Ministry of Electricity and Water spares no effort to ensure safe
drinking water supplies to all citizens and residents in the country and
develop plans for increasing the output capacity of the stations and launching
new water projects," he said.

The minister also revealed plans to involve the private sector in projects to build new electricity plants.

He said the new plants were necessary to help cope with the growth in consumption of electricity in Kuwait which has seen an annual growth rate exceeding eight percent.

On Monday, risk-assessment consultants Maplecroft said Kuwait, along with Mauritania and Jordan, were among countries with the least secure water supplies in a study that said shortages in the region might cause political tensions and higher oil prices.

In October, Shuraian said Kuwait would spend about $21.3bn on power and water projects in its 2010-2014 development plan, partly to raise output to 600 million gallons a day from 400 million gallons a day.

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