Minister of Energy Dr. Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza attended today the post weekly cabinet session press briefing, along with Information Affairs Minister Isa Abdulrahman Al Hammadi.
Dr. Mirza made highlighted the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA)'s achievements and projects.
Below is the full text of Dr. Mirza's statement:
"Inspired by the directives of our wise political leadership with respect to providing electricity and water to the citizens and residents of the Kingdom of Bahrain and to developing the Kingdom's service infrastructure to ensure keeping abreast of other developed countries, the Minister of Energy and senior officials of "EWA" the Electricity and Water Authority pay utmost attention to the optimum development of the electricity and water infrastructure systems as part of its strategy and vision to keep pace with urban development resulting from increasing growth of population in the Kingdom, and the accompanying economic and investment progress.
1) Improved Network performance and reduction of Interruptions:
EWA has undertaken the responsibility to develop electricity and water infrastructure projects and to work strenuously to further minimize power interruptions during past harsh summer periods and the forthcoming summer 2015 by implementing a number of measures and actions to reduce the frequency of power interruptions during the critical summer months. The EWA succeeded during the months of May up to August 2014 to reduce the interruption periods by 66% against 2013 and 2012. Power interruption frequency improved by 20% against previous years. All of this was attributed to the initiatives taken to improve the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
Among the various initiatives implemented were:
1) Continuation of the reinforcement of the Electricity Transmission and Distribution Networks During 2013-2014
Construction and subsequently commissioning 11 main transmission 66/11 kV substations.
Construction of 180 new Distribution substations, 11 kV/400 volts.
Further reinforcement of the low-voltage networks (400 volts) that feeds residential areas and neighborhoods.
2) Enhancement of Communication Channels with the Public at large through the EWA Call Centre:
Currently, there are 40 lines for the Call Center Central telephone number 17515555.
There are 10 toll-free lines, 80001110.
During summer, the number of call Center attendants serving the public is increased from 40 to 60 to ensure further speedy and spontaneous response to customers telephone calls.
Improvement of the quality of service and continuous interaction with EWA’s internal "FRC" Fault Report Center, and the Minister’s keen interest and follow-up of the performance "KPI’s".
Open Communication and open door policy of the Minister with other EWA’s senior officials with the public at large: the customers, the Governorates, the Municipal Councils, and the press.
3) Development of Technical Logistics to Handle Interruptions
Further updating of technical plans to achieve speedy response to summer interruptions before summer 2014.
Addressing and solving shortages and gaps in procedures in the event of an electricity interruption
4) Establishment of Maintenance Depots in Governorates
Four maintenance centres have been inaugurated in Muharraq, Rifaa, central area in Manama and development of a new centre in Budaiya.
Enhancement of various apparatus and Fault Locator Vehicles for accurately identifying fault locations; the number has been increased to 17 vehicles provided with state of art technical equipment.
Introduction of the Responder program, which is capable of accurate predictions of fault locations; contributing to minimizing repair time.
Use of an advanced Geographical Information Systems "GIS".
5) Support of Technical Requirements and Increase of Manpower
Increase of the number of technical support teams and specialists within the emergency teams.
Increase of manpower for various maintenance activities:
- 50 engineers and 410 technicians, assigned according to the volume of work to the main maintenance centres, which serve all districts of the Kingdom, an increase of 18% over the previous year 2013.
- Purchase of 169 various sized emergency diesel generators during 2014.
- At present, the total number of diesel generators fleet available within EWA is 294.
6) Completion of annual Maintenance Programs and ppm’s (preventive maintenance) for all Equipment and Electrical Installations
7) Continuous follow-up with EWA's Executive Management for assessing the initiatives that have been implemented and endeavoring to solve all shortages and problems
If we take a look at some statistics of the maximum demand for the summer of 2014, we shall find:
The maximum demand recorded on EWA’s network was 3,152 MW on Monday, 25 August 2014 compared with the maximum demand recorded last year(2013) was 2,917MW i.e. an growth of 8%.
The temperature and humidity recorded on that day at EWA's Main System Control Centre was 39 degrees centigrade, and humidity 78%.
The total installed capacity of electricity was in the order of 3,934 megawatts at 40 degrees centigrade.
2) Five year development plan for the Electricity and water networks 2015 - 2019:
The Electricity and Water Authority endeavours through its ambitious plan to develop the electricity and water infrastructure during the coming five years (2015 to 2019), to keep pace with urban expansion in the Kingdom and economic and development progress by implementing a number of developmental projects at a total cost of 3.6 to 4.0 billion US dollars, or nearly BD 1.3 to 1.5. The key projects are summarized as follows:
1) Upgrading of the Main Backbone Transmission Network to 400 kV
One of the most important strategic projects of the EWA, is to construct a new backbone transmission network at a voltage of 400 kV. The envisaged network shall include the construction of three main transmission substations at the voltage of 400 kV in Hidd, Umm Al Hassam and Riffa. These substations will be connected in a mesh network and into the existing 220 KV transmission network in order to provide a better interface with GCC interconnection grid. This project will raise the capability and reliability of the power network in Bahrain and will reduce the issues of the high short circuit levels in the various parts of the network to a safe level, and thus ensure safe operation of equipment and higher operational flexibility, in addition to strengthening the option of commercial power trade exchange of electricity with other GCC countries.
The total cost of this project is estimated at nearly US$ 740 million, or about BD 280 million. Implementation will last up to 2017. This will be the first project to be financed by the GCC development Support Program and financed by Kuwait . The tender documents of the project have already been obtained and are being evaluated, having obtained all approval required from the Tender Board, the Ministry of Finance and the financers.
2) Upgrading of the 11-kilovolt Main Distribution Networks
The EWA is continuing the implementation of a project of upgrading the 11kV high voltage network in the various Governorates with the aim of further minimizing power interruptions. The estimated cost of these projects is US$ 265 million, or BD 100 million. The project is under construction until the end of 2016.
As for the development of the water networks, the EWA is also in the process of implementing a number of developmental projects during the next stage, at an estimated cost of US$ 182. They are as follows:
1. The main Water Pumping Station in Hidd
Expansion of the current station and construction of additional ground storage tanks and improvement of the pumps to 50 million gallons. The estimated cost is US$ 75 million.
2. Main Pumping Stations in the Central Governorate
Expansion of the current stations and construction of additional ground storage tanks and improvement of the pumps to 45 million gallons. The estimated cost is US$ 75 million.
3. Construction of Water Pipelines in Hidd
Construction of 17-kilometer Ductile Iron water pipelines, at an estimated cost of US$ 12 million.
4. Construction of Water Pipelines in the Central Governorate
Construction of 22-kilometer Ductile Iron water pipelines, at an estimated cost of US$ 20 million."