Kuwait plans to add 1,200 megawatts by early July

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Qatar and Saudi Arabia boost electrical supply to support Kuwait

Kuwait faces an 800 megawatt deficit prompting programmed power cuts.

KUWAIT CITY, June 22: In response to the ongoing electricity shortage crisis, His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Abdullah convened a crucial meeting on Wednesday with the Ministry of Electricity, Water, and Renewable Energy’s leadership. The conference, attended by Minister Dr. Mahmoud Bushehri and other senior officials, aimed to address the crisis and devise effective solutions. The Ministry has announced that 63 areas could face programmed shutdowns if necessary.

Informed sources revealed to Al-Rai that ministry leaders presented urgent strategies to manage the crisis over the next ten days until several units under maintenance could be re-integrated into the electrical network. It is anticipated that 1,200 megawatts will be added by early July following the completion of maintenance at the Al-Zour South Station.

Officials have requested expedited approvals from relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Finance and the Audit Bureau, to proceed with maintenance tenders and joint cycle projects. This is intended to enhance the efficiency and capacity of production units.

Amid efforts to stabilize the network, a Saudi Ministry of Energy delegation visited to offer assistance and share expertise in electricity rationalization.

The Ministry has detailed its programmed cut-off plan, naming 63 areas where power will be cut during peak times from 11 am to 5 pm for one to two hours if needed. Yesterday, power cuts began in Wafra and Abdali Farms, as well as industrial areas including Port Abdullah, Al-Rai, and Sulaibiya.

The Ministry has avoided previous mistakes by announcing the affected areas beforehand, unlike the unannounced cuts on Wednesday, which caused significant disruption.

Al-Rai has learned that Qatar has agreed to increase its electrical supply to Kuwait from 400 to 490 megawatts, and Saudi Arabia will supply an additional 200 megawatts. Kuwait is also expecting 300 megawatts of support from Oman.

Completion of the Gulf interconnection project with Iraq could further bolster Kuwait’s network by 1,200 megawatts, pending the enhancement of transmission lines and completion of a key substation.

On Wednesday, Kuwait’s electricity network faced a deficit of approximately 800 megawatts, prompting the Ministry to implement programmed power cuts across agricultural, industrial, and residential areas. The maximum load recorded was 16,810 megawatts, nearing last year’s peak of 16,960 megawatts.

The Ministry is coordinating with Shamal Al-Zour Company to reintroduce a production unit that has been out of service, which could contribute an additional 290 megawatts.

Officials stress the need to expedite routine procedures to avoid future crises and call for swift approval of the Ministry’s projects by regulatory authorities.

International companies have proposed using floating power plants to supply Kuwait with the necessary electricity. The Ministry is currently evaluating these proposals to assess their feasibility and integration with the existing grid.

The ongoing crisis may also prompt a reassessment of electricity consumption tariffs for various sectors, aligning them with government subsidies. A committee has already submitted recommendations on this matter to the former Minister of Electricity, Water, and Renewable Energy, Jassim Al-Stad.

The customer service sector has implemented power cuts through the smart meter project, disconnecting meters in schools from 12 noon to 5 pm and in mosques, with power restored 15 minutes before prayer times.

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