More power ordered for Sharjah

News of extra investment brings hopes of relief

SHARJAH // For an emirate that has frequently endured summer power cuts and high electricity bills, Sheikh Khalifa, the President of the UAE's order yesterday of 700 megawatts of electricity for Sharjah and a new main transmission station brought hopes of relief.

Several residents said they were looking forward to seeing power bills go down. "I know it would not happen overnight, but at least something should be done from this summer," said Hamdan Abu Razak, who lives in the Shuwayheen area. "I was paying Dh1,200 for electricity every month in summer for my one-bedroom flat. This is almost the same money I pay for the rent."

The order stipulates that Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority will supply the 700MW of power and the new transmission station, which will cost Dh500 million and have a capacity of 400 kilovolts. Officials in the emirate also expressed gratitude for Sheikh Khalifa's order yesterday.

Sultan al Mualla, the director general of Sharjah Municipality, predicted that the order would lead to a decline in rental prices and a rise in land values. He said it would also encourage more construction projects in the emirate.

"Electricity is a necessity for any progress," he said. "It is essential in a construction-booming economy, industrialisation and urbanisation of any sort."

Sheikh Khalifa yesterday also ordered the supply of almost 38 million additional litres of water a day to the emirate.

Marwan Jassim al Sarkal, chief executive of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority said the President's order would open a new chapter in the development of the Northern Emirates, as electricity to any economy is like blood to a body.