New strategy for exploiting gas in power generation [Archives:2004/728/Business & Economy]

April 12 2004

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Yemeni government is intending to implement a strategy for exploiting gas in the generation of electric power. Presently there are practical steps for building a gas power station in the governorate of Mareb as part of the investment program for the ministry of electricity and the state establishment of electricity for the year 2004.
According to sources at the ministry of electricity the state establishment is seeking to exploit gas in the field of producing generating electric power as Yemen possesses large reserves of gas amounting to around 16.5 trillion metric tons. The new strategy includes the building of a number of generating stations in various governorates, among them a generating station in the governorate of Mareb with a capacity of 500 megawatt, a station with a capacity of 400 megawatt and a third station in Aden with a capacity of 400 megawatt as well as another station in Hudeida with the capacity of 400 megawatt.
The strategy considers that the building of gas power stations would have positive results in terms of different economic and technical areas. The concerned parties estimate that transferring power from the production center to centers of works requires the building of lines capable of transferring 400 kilovolt and 230 kilovolt and that depends on the construction of the new stations. The process of consuming the new power needs the building of new networks for distribution in the cities for the best utilization of the new gas power stations.
The amount of financial allocation appropriated for the investment of the state establishment of electricity in the present year is estimated at about YR 14.5 billion, of which YR 12.5 billion for the united electric system and 2 billion riyals for projects of countryside waters electricity. The investment [program has appropriated financial amounts for rehabilitation of the working power generating stations and their maintenance because the new power stations would start working in three years time and therefore the establishment seeks to preserve the present stations capacities.
The investment program also includes the improvement of services level of some stations by funding from Arab and Islamic funds in addition to government financing. Electricity sources indicate that work is now going on in construction of power transfer lines from Mareb to Sana'a estimated at 400 kilovolt and building of a steam turbine in Aden with a capacity of 60 megawatt. The sources also mentioned that there are several projects under construction in some governorates, some for strengthening generation with 10 megawatt in the Rayan in Hadramout and 6 megawatt in Seyoun and generating enhancement with a capacity of 25 megawatt in Tihama and about 700 projects under construction for countryside electricity.
There is a study for joint a electric power connection between Yemen and Saudi Arabia funded by the Arab Fund and the electricity establishment in Yemen expects the agreement with the Saudi side would be concluded about naming the companies that would implement the field study of the project.