MORE than 260 electricity distribution stations were built throughout the country in April and May, a senior official of the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has said.
A total of 590 such stations were added to the electricity network in the first five months of the year, said Hassan J B al-Mohannadi, head of the Distribution Control Centre (DCC).
Mohannadi was briefing journalists during a visit to the DCC in Al Hilal area.
He said Qatar has embarked on a major expansion of the power network to meet rapidly growing demand. At present, it has more than 8,000 electricity distribution stations.
The state-of-the-art DCC, the nerve centre of the country’s power network, operates round the clock and is manned by a group of qualified nationals.
It seeks to ensure continuous electric supply nationwide, he explained.
Mohannadi said the centre receives and records calls about electricity outages.
The majority of outages (55%) are caused by third parties - usually contractors carrying out digging that damages underground transmission lines or sub-stations and high-tension cables. Overloading at households accounts for at least 25% of interruptions.
However, despite a huge rise in the number of consumers, the total period of interruptions decreased by 55% last month compared to May 2006. This was possible because of the introduction of advanced systems in the network, Mohannadi said.
The Kahramaa official said the introduction of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) at the DCC has helped staff “handle any number of calls.” The system is similar to telephone banking and similar transactions.
To deal with emergencies, Kahramaa has mobile sub-stations to restore power. These are also used during periodical maintenance, he said.
Kahramaa’s three repair facilities at Al Shahaniya, Umm Salal and Al Khor are equipped to rectify faults and restore electricity speedily, the official added.
Power generation is expected to more than double in the next three years – from 3,850mw to over 9,000mw – with the opening of new plants in Mesaieed and Ras Girtas.
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