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11 June 2009 12:18 pm

Privatisation of water, power sectors hailed

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy and Industry HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah has said privatisation in the power and water sectors had done the country a world of good and because of the private participation the utilities sector’s production had gone up considerably in less than a decade. Al-Attiyah said this while addressing the first joint meeting of the private sector companies operating in Qatar, held at the initiative of Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) yesterday at Four Seasons Hotel. The minister said the privatisation of the two sectors arose mainly from the complexity of their operations and also due to the requirements of skills in their execution. He said the QEWC was created in 1989 with a view to implementing privatisation in power and water production. Soon after its launch, the existing plants were transferred to the QEWC. Later, private investors were invited to join the sector and their response was encouraging. Besides the QEWC, four companies have participated and are successfully operating in the country, the minister said. The records have proved that investors stand to gain considerably from their participation in the country’s utilities sector. “They could also share their expertise and bring out still better results and more benefits to the country’s people,” said al-Attiyah. The minister said the region’s largest integrated water and power company, Ras Girtas, on completion in 2012, would help almost double the electricity generation. “The desalinated water generation will go up by at least 33%.” This would be a major development in the region’s utilities sector and it would also ensure that sufficient power and water would be made available to meet the growing demand. “Also, with the inter-connection grid becoming a reality later this year, there is excellent possibility for transferring power to whoever required it in the GCC region,” noted al-Attiyah. The minister asserted that despite global recession, Qatar economy was expected to grow significantly. However, he advised the private investors to ensure the safety of the personnel and plants. He also asked the company officials to give top priority to the ongoing Qatarisation drive, without compromising on the efficiency, quality and services. While acknowledging their contributions to the development of the country’s power and water sectors, al-Attiyah thanked them for their continuous efforts in the Qatarisation drive. The minister also appreciated the role being played by Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) in effectively planning the future electricity and water requirements in such a way that the country could meet the demand on schedule. Apart from QEWC and Kahramaa, officials of Ras Laffan Power Company, Ras Girtas Power Company, Mesaieed Power Company and Q-Power made presentations at the meeting. Ali Al Ali, Jamal al-Khalaf, Zafar Iqbal (RLPC), Saeed al-Wazan (Q-Power), Mohamed al-Harami (Mesaieed Power) and Sigatapu V Mahesh (RGPC) represented companies. QEWC general manager Fad al-Mohannadi, acting managing director of Kahramaa Issa Hilal al-Kuwari, and senior officials of RLPC, RGPC, Q-Power and Mesaieed Power also were also present. http://gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=296420&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16