MENA Regional Conference on Renewable Energy to be held in Sana’a [Archives:2004/715/Business & Economy]

February 26 2004

Dr. Abdurrahman Bamatraf, the Minister of Electricity called a meeting of the entities that will be working together to organize an important regional conference for the Middle East-North Africa area countries on Renewable Energy.
The meeting, held on January 15 in the office of the Managing Director of the Public Electricity Corporation, was attended by representatives of the ME, PEC and the Environmental Protection Authority, as well as representatives of some of the leading private sector establishments in Yemen, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Dr. Bamatraf, opened the meeting with an introduction to the topic of renewable energy and the significance of the development of various forms of alternative energy sources in Yemen. He pointed out that Yemen is badly in need of significant numbers of new sources of energy as conventional non-gas fossil fuel energy is proving to be uneconomical and difficult to access in remote rural regions.
The Minister also stated that the proposed conference, which was previously scheduled to be held in New Delhi, will be held in Sana'a on April 21 to April 23 2004, will precede an international conference on RE and the environment to be held in early June in Bonn, Germany.
He welcomed the good turnout from the private sector, emphasising the importance of the participation of the private sector in the development of the electricity sector in Yemen, which is at present overburdened with more demand for power than it is able to supply. The existing system (less than one 1,000 Megawatts of output capacity) is the poorest in the Arabian Peninsula. He pointed out that the Government is keen on providing all the facilities required to facilitate private sector participation in the development and deployment of RE resources, which are abundant, including providing incentives such as customs exemptions or tax breaks.
On the Sana'a RE Conference, the advisor to the Ministry of Electricity, Mr. Andrias Moezzel, stated that 22 countries are expected to participate, as well as international agencies and NGOs working in environmental protection. The private sector is expected to present papers, exhibits and model projects they envisage pursuing, and many of the attendees at the meeting were enthusiastic to take part.
There will be continued coordination with the private sector. Further meetings will be held on a monthly basis to ensure the success of the conference and to emphasize the role that the private sector will hopefully play.