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25-km submarine cable to connect Bahrain, Hawar

Manama: Bahrain’s plan to use submarine power cables to connect Hawar Islands to mainland Bahrain will be launched to tenders in November.

The project of the 25-kilometre cable from Ras Al Bar, the southernmost tip on the island of Bahrain, to north-western Hawar will be funded by the Saudi Fund for Development as part of the Gulf development programme.

Work on the project is scheduled to start in the first half of next year and completed in the last quarter of 2020, the office of Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Ministerial Committee for Reconstruction and Infrastructure Shaikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa posted on its Instagram account. The Electricity and Water Authority on Wednesday submitted a proposal about the route for the cable.

Bahrain said it was planning to develop sections of Hawar Island, in line with Bahrain’s National Economic Strategy for 2030. The electricity supply needs to be upgraded in order to sustain the development and to meet demands.

The move comes as part of providing solutions to supply electricity needs and to link Hawar to a permanent electricity grid rather than depend on temporary power generators.

On September 30, Shaikh Khalid directed the Southern Tourism Company to prepare an integrated programme to ensure the operation of Hawar Beach Hotel and attract more visitors all year round as part of developing the islands into a major tourist destination, mainly for tourists coming into the kingdom in December, January and February.

According to latest data published by Southern Tourism Company, the number of guests at Hawar Beach Hotel from January to August 2018 was 4,312, a 108 per cent increase over the same period in 2017 when it was 2,078.

The Hawar Islands characterised by their pristine environment and unique species, include six major islands, in addition to more than 30 small ones, with a total area of about 51.4 square kilometres. The maximum length of the largest island, Hawar, is about 17 kilometres, and maximum width three kilometres, while its maximum height is 19 metres.

Bahrain’s Supreme Council for |Environment said that Hawar Islands have attracted many species of birds that live and breed at different times, because of their geographical distance and different heights.

“The islands are home to the largest colony in the Middle East of the Phalacrocorax nigrogularis or the Socotra cormorant birds, locally known as “Allooh”, whose number has reached about 25,000 in the South Suwad Island. Studies indicate that the Socotra cormorant birds on the island represent between 20 and 25 per cent of their world population, which proves the international importance of such islands.”

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