MEA powers ahead

20 July 2016

The total value of the power generation construction project pipeline in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) stands at US$877 billion (€798 billion), according to a report by research company Timetric.

It said Saudi Arabia and South Africa accounted for the largest shares, with project pipelines valued at US$276 billion (€251 billion) and US$167 billion (€152 billion), respectively.

Overall in MEA, the nuclear sector has the highest value pipeline at US$368 billion (€335 billion), with Saudi Arabia taking US$211 billion (€192 billion) of this value. Gas power generation is in second place overall with a value of US$149 billion (€136 billion).

Timetric said renewables were beginning to make inroads in terms of being alternatives to fossil fuel investment, with solar power projects having a combined value of US$126 billion (€115 billion), ahead of hydroelectric with US$46.1 billion (€42 billion) and wind with US$20.1 billion (€18 billion).

It said Saudi Arabia led in the nuclear, gas and oil sectors, and was one of the three countries in the region, together with Iraq and Zimbabwe, investing in the oil sector. As both Saudi Arabia and Iraq are major oil producers, this fuel is a crucial part of the country’s power generation strategy, according to the report.

Meanwhile, it said South Africa had the highest investment in coal power generation, followed by Egypt, and was historically dependent on the fuel as a main producer of coal. Egypt has no history of coal power generation but plans to have 15% of its power generation supplied by this fuel by 2030, although still dependent on imported coal.

Solar power

And Nigeria surpasses other countries in the solar power sector, with projects valued at US$39.5 billion (€36 billion), according to the report, which added that this was down to the Nigerian government investing substantially in the sector to connect its population to a power source.

Neil Martin, Manager at Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Centre , said, “Although the countries in the Middle East and Africa are beginning to invest in renewable fuel, with countries such as Nigeria leading in solar energy, Kenya with geothermal and Ethiopia with hydroelectric, nuclear power generation remains a significant part of the strategy for Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Iran and the UAE.

“Gas, oil and coal power continues to play a significant role in the power strategy for most of the countries studied as ongoing power demands from growing populations and increased industrialization drive investment in these sectors.”

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