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Dolphin project to create true GCC gas grid



Bahrain Tribune - Planned gas and electricity links between the Gulf States will change the existing dynamics as the $7 billion Dolphin project due to come on stream in 2007 will mean the creation of true GCC gas grid, says Neil Walker (right), Marketing Manager, PennWell at Power-Gen Middle East 2007.

He said that the Dolphin project will link Qatar, the UAE and Oman. Meanwhile the GCC Grid Interconnection project will reduce the amount of investment required in new generating plants in each state by creating a means for reserve sharing and ultimately trading, between states.

Walker said: "In early December, a high committee of the GCC ordered a study into the creation of a joint programme of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. This move follows an earlier announcement by Egypt that it was planning to develop nuclear technology. The move by the GCC countries was seen as having political connotations given Iran's development of uranium enrichment technology and the presence of nuclear weapon technology in Israel."

He said that there is a host of power and water infrastructure activity in the region, from genset manufacturers supplying the construction trade through to major power and water project development and strengthening of transmission systems. Most countries in the region have demonstrated a sufficient level of stability that developers are now willing to risk capital. It all adds up to interesting business opportunities for both local and international firms active in the sector.

Many of the Middle East electricity and water projects have progressed in the last three years and several new ones have been announced. GCC states like Bahrain, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, who have opted for private participation in their power sector, have pursued this course with renewed vigour and have been joined by more recent converts.

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