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Minister cuts ribbon to kickstart project to upgrade power station Al-Zour designed to produce additional 400 MW of power

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 18, (KUNA): Minister of Public Works and Minister of Electricity and Water Abdulaziz Abdullatif Al- Ibrahim on Wednesday patronized a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the major venture of upgrading the Al- Zour power plant. The vital project is designed to produce an additional 400 MW of power to Kuwait’s overall electrical output. Technically, it aims to transform the conventional thermal power units into the more advanced combined-cycle power systems, in which gas and steam turbines are combined to achieve very high fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Talking to journalists after touring the station, Minister Al-Ibrahim said the additional power would be generated without more financial costs. A new transformed unit was already operational putting out 188 MW and other units would start functioning in February, with forecast equal output, he said.

Minister Al-Ibrahim indicated a project to produce 500 MW of power, currently under execution in the southern Al-Zour plant, is due to finish by 2015. Another one with identical capacities in Al-Sabiah is forecast to conclude within the same period of time. According to preliminary plans, North Al-Zour project was to be executed by the Ministry of Electricity and Water with projection to produce 4,800 MW this year, however the ministry publicized tenders, in 2010, to build another station with similar capacities, the public works minister added. Elaborating, he said in 2010, the National Assembly issued Law 39/2010, shifting all plants’ construction projects to “the initiatives’ apparatus,” and this had indeed taken place later on. Al-Ibrahim added that this body split the venture into three sections; first was the intial phase of the North Al-Zour plant, with an aspired output of 1,500 MW. Deals for this venture have been signed and “we hope the first unit will be operational ahead of next summer,” Al-Ibrahim said.

He indicated at planned formation of companies in which citizens would own five percent of stakes, the government 10 percent and the remaining shares, 40 percent, would be allotted for entrepreneurs. “Such a partnership will be useful if it’s established according to this approach,” he opined. Hamad Al-Hadlaq, in charge of the turbines’ conversion venture at Al- Zour plant, said Al-Ghanim International is executing this project, which will secure 380 MW of power to the overall national electrical production. He said it will cost up to KD 300 million and explained that additional generated power would not be allocated to specific districts, but would be added to the overall national electrical output.

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