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Tue 6 Mar 2012 08:00 PM

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Qatar to invest $5bn to boost power capacity

Country's state utility announces investment plan for power, water by end of 2013

Qatar to invest $5bn to boost power capacity

Qatar plans to invest over $5bn by the end of next year to boost its power and potable water production capacity, the head of the country's state utility said on Tuesday.

The gas-exporting country already has 30 percent more power generation capacity than it needs, allowing it to sell some to neighbours like Kuwait and Bahrain, with new projects offering the potential for more exports in a few years.

"Qatar will spend $2.4bn this year and $2.8bn in 2013 to increase power and water capacity," Abdulsattar al-Rasheed, chief executive of Qatar Electricity & Water Company told a conference.

New projects include a 2,250 megawatt (MW) power plant, two desalination plants with a total capacity of 194 million gallons per day, and large water reservoirs.

Qatari electricity demand growth averaged 11.4 percent in the five years to 2011, but fell to 8.8 percent last year as the number of large new power consuming project starts slowed.

Qatar spent $2.2bn in 2010 and $1.7bn in 2011 in the power and water sector, he said.

The small Gulf country, one of the richest countries in the world, is investing billions of dollars in new infrastructure as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament.

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