Gulf Power Grid to reduce electricity costs for UAE consumers

Oct 28, 2001 02:00 AM

The government will do its best to maintain electricity and water charges at rates that do not cause any financial difficulties to the consumers, but projects in the UAE should not expect the government to provide cheap power and energy, Humaid bin Nasir Al Owais, the UAE Minister for Electricity and Water, said.
He was speaking after General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, officially inaugurated the Big 5 construction and contracting exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre. "I believe that any project depends on subsidised stuff will not last for long for it relies on an unpredictable governmental support," said the minister.

He pointed out that the creation of the Gulf Power Grid will reduce the electricity unit costs on the government and will surely reflect on the charges levied from end-users. He said work on the grid project is processing in a very smooth manner with the second phase of the project expected to begin following the meeting of the AGCC power ministers tomorrow in Riyadh.
"We have accomplished a great deal in phase one with many connection points identified between the UAE and Oman. The second phase which connects Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar will be starting soon," the minister said.

Al Owais said the total cost of the project is Dh 4 bn with the UAE contributing 15.4 % of the funds, amounting to Dh 670 mm. Referring to the UAE Electricity Grid project, the minister said the nationwide connection is almost complete and now the ministry has appointed a consultancy to evaluate the second phase, which will connect Abu Dhabi with Dubai and Sharjah. He said the UAE ministries are now working together to establish one e-government network, which will greatly ease information transfer.
"We are always with privatisation but the offers received are not to the expectation of the ministry; after all we don't want the consumer to get affected," he said. He does not see privatisation as a must as long as thegovernment is providing good services. After touring the Big 5 show, which features around 1,000 companies from 39 countries, the minister declared that the show is a solid example of international confidence in the UAE.

Source: Khaleej Times
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