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Tue 7 Jul 2009 01:02 PM

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Qatar tells Kuwait no summer electricity

Qatar has no available power to sell to Kuwait this summer, Kuwaiti electricity official tells local press.

Qatar has told Kuwait it cannot supply it with electricity this summer, al-Watan newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing an unidentified official at the Kuwaiti ministry of electricity.The official was quoted as saying Qatar has said it has no available electricity to sell to Kuwait now. The official gave no reasons.

"We will try to get electricity from Qatar for the summer of 2010," al-Watan quoted the official as saying.

Officials at the ministry were not immediately available for comment.

In April, an electricity ministry official said Kuwait was hoping to sign a deal soon to import electricity from Qatar to help meet peak summer demand, in the first agreement to use a new Gulf power grid. The initial deal was to buy about 500 megawatts of electricity this summer from Qatar.

Kuwait, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, has one of the highest per capita power consumption rates in the world and has struggled to keep up with growing demand. Annual demand peaks when temperatures hit 50 degrees Celsius in the summer.

Gulf Arab countries have hooked up the first phase of a $1.4bn regional power grid, which will begin full operation in May 2010, hoping it will help meet spiralling power needs.

Last week, Kuwait's oil minister said the country is still in talks with Qatar to import liquefied natural gas but is not happy with the proposed terms of agreement. (Reuters)

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