Sunday 25 July 2021

Bahrain gets $100m Kuwait funding for 400kV project

MANAMA, December 5, 2019

Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) has signed a $100 million loan agreement with Bahrain to help finance the development of a 400-kilovolt (kV) transmission network in the kingdom, said a report.

The deal, which paves way for the partial funding of the expansion of the kingdom’s electricity network, was inked at a key ceremony held yesterday (December 4) under the patronage of Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs and Fiscal Balance.

The agreement includes financing for a portion of the 400 kV transmission network development project in Ras Legrain area besides the construction of 220/400 kV substations in Hidd, Umm Al Hassam and Riffa areas of the kingdom, reported Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

It also covers the installation of ground cables for connecting existing and new substations. These will greatly strengthen the kingdom’s national grid and also contribute to achieving sustainable development goal (SDG No 7) on attaining clean energy at affordable prices, it added.

Minister of Finance and National Economy Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and the Minister for Electricity and Water affairs Wael bin Nasser Al Mubarak signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Bahrain, while the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) was represented by its Director General Abdulwahab Ahmed Al Bader.

Shaikh Thamer Jaber Al Sabah, Kuwait's ambassador to Bahrain, was also present at the signing ceremony.

Lauding Kuwait for its continuous support to Bahrain’s development process, Shaikh Salman highlighted the historical ties between the two countries and their peoples, and also pointed out the important role played by the KFAED in supporting economic development across the Arab world.

This agreement came within the financial balance programme signed by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE last year with Bahrain, for the next five years to improve the economic situation, Al Bader was quoted as saying in the Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) report.

KFAED is administering grants provided by Kuwait’s government worth $1.5 billion, under the framework of the GCC Development Program, he stated.

The Fund’s loan covers about 10.5 per cent of the project’s total cost, said, stressing that the project was financed under loan agreement No. 1/62 of $261 million. The total contribution of the fund to the project is equivalent to about KD140.8 million, stated Al Bader.

In his address, Al Mubarak said this agreement takes place in a context of close Bahrain-Kuwait cooperation, and is aimed at achieving the kingdom’s long-term plans to secure electricity and water resources that support sustainable economic growth, in line with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, stated the BNA report.

The Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs also went on to explain that the project would be instrumental in boosting the capacity and efficiency of power transmission besides tackling the electricity shortage issue and ensuring the safe operation of equipment.

The project will also contribute to facilitating the exchange of electric power with the GCC networks, he added.


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