On electric power and desalted water production in Kuwait

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) in Kuwait issues annual reports showing the efforts made to satisfy the continuous increasing demands of power and desalted water, status of the operating plants, projects under construction, and future planning. Careful reading of the reports is required for better understanding of power and desalted water production economics, and better planning and utilization of the available resources. The published data in the 2000 MEW statistical books on power and desalted water reveal some of the main characteristics of the cogeneration power desalting plants in Kuwait, and raise some concern and comments that are reported in this paper such as: (1) MEW future planning is coping very well with electric power demand, but can face real shortage of fresh water in the immediate near future; (2) Desalting seawater is done using the MSF desalting method. The MSF system is not energy efficient. It consumes about three times the equivalent energy consumed by reverse osmosis (RO), which only consumes mechanical (pumping) energy. (3) There is mismatching between power production (depends on load) and process heat required by the operating MSF desalting units. (4) Demands of electric power and desalted water are continuously increasing, as does the need for installing new power and desalting plants. There is real need to rationalize the public use of water and power. (5) Variation of electric power demands is significant due to power consumed by A/C units. (6) Operation of power plants is at low capacity most of the year, due to part-load operation, except for a few hours at peak demand in summer. This means inefficient use of fuel energy and existing equipment. (7) High cost of generating power and desalted water. (8) Low fuel cost estimation by MEW. These points are discussed in this paper. The paper also introduces a method to allocate fuel energy consumption between desalted water and electric power production and use it to estimate the cost of each product. It also discusses future forecasting for power and water needs, turbine unit size choice, and how to reduce power and desalted water consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Desalted water
  • Kuwait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation

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