(EnergyAsia, May 31 2012, Thursday) — Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa recently launched the country’s largest independent power generation and water desalination plant.
According to owner Al-Dur Power & Water Company, the US$2.1 billion plant, which started operating in February, produces up to 1,234 MW of electricity and 218,000 cubic metres per day of the highest quality water in the Middle East.

Holding approximately a third of both Bahrain’s installed power capacity and water requirements, the new plant has the potential to transform the kingdom from being an importer of power during peak periods to an exporter of power to its neighbours.

The Bahraini Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) is the sole off-taker of the plant output under a 25-year power and water purchase agreement signed with Al-Dur, which built the plant to help meet the kingdom’s growing demand for clean, reliable and competitively-priced power and water.

The contractors who constructed and developed Al-Dur included International Power-GDF SUEZ, a world leader in independent power and water generation, and Gulf Investment Corporation, the largest financial investor in power and water projects in the Middle East.

GIC’s shareholders include Bahraini institutions Social Insurance Organization, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Capital Management House, First Energy Bank and Instrata Capital.

Abdulhussain bin Ali Mirza, Bahrain’s Minister of Electricity of the Kingdom of Bahrain, said:

“EWA is working hand-in-hand with the private sector to support government efforts to expand the kingdom’s infrastructure. The launch of Al Dur and its partnership with EWA will ensure the stable and secure supply of power and water to support growth and diversification of the economy.”

The inauguration ceremony on May 1 was attended by Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa and more than 600 local, regional and international dignitaries and business leaders and shareholders and partners of Al-Dur.

Hisham Al-Razzuqi, GIC’s CEO, said:

“As Bahrain’s single largest independent producer of power and water, Al Dur is a critical part of the kingdom’s economic infrastructure.

With the launch of commercial operations at the plant, the Kingdom’s power and water supply has been secured well into this decade.

Reliable access to power and water is essential to fuelling growth and we are proud to play an important part in the Kingdom’s further economic development for the benefits of all citizens.”