Scrapping plans for an April opening to coincide with Earth Day, Kahramaa has pushed back the launch of its new Energy Awareness Park for another few months. It is now expected to open to visitors at the end of June.
The delays are in part due to supply issues. Speaking to the Peninsula, Mohammed Salem Al Mansoori, who is supervising the project for the government’s water and electricity company, said the team is still awaiting exhibition materials and models ordered from the US.
Al Mansoori confirmed to Doha News that construction on the site in the Old Airport area of the city was still ongoing. He said “approximately 81 percent” of the work has been completed. This suggests that a significant proportion still needs to be finished ahead of the center’s new June opening date.
This is the second delay announced for the futuristic education center, which was originally scheduled to open in 2013.
The Kahramaa Awareness Park, which will teach residents about electricity and water conservation, is estimated to have cost around $49.4 million (QR180 million.)
According to Al Mansoori, visitors to the center will be treated to “inspiring models” and interactive exhibits aimed at educating both children and adults, as part of two-hour tour.
Offerings will include 3D films stressing the importance of conservation; telescopes on the center’s tower which will provide a view of the workings of the nearby Al Wakra desalination plant; and examples of typical homes in Qatar, showing “daily activities such as housemaids using water for several purposes,” Al Mansoori told the Peninsula.
Visitors will enter the center in groups of 60-70 people, he told us, with school children visiting in the morning, and the general public able to visit in the afternoon and evening.
In recent years, Kahramaa has spearheaded a drive to encourage residents to curb their excessive use of water and electricity, as the country works to build up its emergency water supply.
The company’s Tarsheed campaign has been tasked with reducing electricity usage by 20 percent and water consumption by 35 percent over the next few years.
Qatar’s residents use an average of 500 liters of water every day, making the country one of the world’s biggest consumers of water – four times as much as many European countries, and 10 times more than many others.
New smartphone app
Yesterday, Kahramaa made monitoring and paying for personal energy usage a little bit easier, with the launch of a new app for smartphone which would allow customers to take a photo of their meters and send the reading directly to the company, allowing them to receive more accurate bills.
Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari, President of Kahramaa, explained that the app was the first phase of the company’s aim to allow customers to eventually access all of its services online by the end of this year.