Kuwait faces looming ’24 summer power shortage

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 16: The country might experience an electricity shortage during summer in the coming years unless the necessary decisions and measures are taken immediately to prevent the potential energy shortage, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting sources. Sources cited studies projecting the electricity shortage; considering the current capacity of the power generating stations reached a maximum of 18,500 megawatts, while the highest consumption recorded in the summer of 2023 was 16,900 megawatts and the available energy at the time was only about 17,250 megawatts.

Sources explained that the capacity of the existing power generating stations is not guaranteed; because most of these stations are old and some of them have ended their operational life, yet no measure has been taken to replace them, hence, the possibility that some units will stop functioning during peak consumption. Sources revealed the expected shortage at the peak of summer in 2024 will reach 1,000 megawatts, rising to 2,000 megawatts in 2025 and 2,500 megawatts in 2026.

Sources pointed out this shortage cannot be covered by the Gulf power link for many reasons, as it depends on many variables. Considering the production capacity of Gulf countries, the peak loads coincide with the same peak load period in Kuwait and the Gulf power link has limited capacity that is not sufficient to cover the expected energy shortage.

Sources added the Ministry of Electricity and Water has proposed seeking the help of international developers and investors to build power generation and water production plants, but this step faced opposition from the Public-Private Partnership Projects Authority, which prefers to continue implementing the power generation plants project through the partnership system despite the significant delay. Sources said the Council of Ministers had earlier instructed the ministry to take the necessary steps to prevent the power shortage, but no action has been taken so far. They also cited the delayed completion of Subiya Power Station, which has with a capacity of 900 megawatts and the cancellation of the tender could have exacerbated the crisis.

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