Privatisation plans for the power industry in the Middle East and North Africa will attract capital investment of up to $525 billion from the private sector in the next five years, according to a report.
More than two-thirds of the energy capital investment potential is located in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Qatar, and Algeria which will help to produce the additional 106.4 gigawatts of electricity planned for the region between 2012 and 2016, it said.
In the same period, the GCC region is predicted to have the highest demand growth of power generation in all of the Mena market, at 8.5 per cent, spending $252 billion in the next five to 10 years.
While Saudi Arabia plans to spend $100 billion, Qatar takes the lead in committing $125 billion into its power infrastructure.
The figures were released in a report by market research specialists Ventures Middle East ahead of Middle East Electricity 2012, the world’s leading energy event that focuses on power, lighting, renewable, nuclear and water sectors, taking place from February 7-9 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
“Most of the governments in the Mena countries have liberalised policies pertaining to the power sector and are now in the process of formulating privatisation strategies,” said Anita Mathews, exhibition director for Middle East Electricity.
“This has attracted major investment from the private sectors of the Middle East countries. The privatisation of the electricity sector will not only reinforce their power generation infrastructure, but will also facilitate resourceful management of transmission and distribution providing a desired balance between power demand-supply mechanisms.”
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Middle East Electricity 2012 has so far attracted more than 800 exhibitors looking to capitalise on the region’s booming energy sector.
New additions for the three-day exhibition in 2012 include two separate industry conferences: Power and Utilities Infrastructure, on 8 and 9 February, which will address the most pressing issues in the regional utilities landscape; and Smart Power 2012, from February 7-9, focusing on the development and future of smart energy policies.
“Power and utility companies are expected to invest $200 billion by 2015 to upgrade metering, transmission lines and communications to create new ‘smart’ systems,” added Mathews.