MANAMA, Bahrain, May 24 (UPI) -- The government of Bahrain said it plans to invest $10 billion in its energy sector and attract $10 billion more from outside investors in the next 15 years.
"The Middle East, in addition to its role of being the leading producer of oil and gas in the world, is becoming one of the fastest growing areas of demand," Bahrain Energy Minister Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza told reporters Thursday.
"While demand in the region accounted for 6.6 percent of world consumption in 2000, today it represents just over 9 percent. It is estimated that by 2015, about $530 billion will be invested in the energy industries in the Middle East."
The newspaper Trade Arabia said Bahrain was looking at its refining capacity to give it a competitive advantage and better position it to capture the future opportunities.
Mirza also announced in keeping with Bahrain's desire to meet environmental standards, the state had invested in two renewable energy projects.
"Two plants, generating five megawatts of electricity each, based on solar and wind technologies will be set up soon," Mirza said.