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Saudi Arabia will need investment of US$133.3bn in electricity projects over the next ten years to cope with rising power demand, the Kingdom’s electricity and water minister said
Minister Abdullah al-Hussayen announced that the country expects peak electricity to hit 90,000MW in 2022. The current installed capacity is around 70,000MW.
Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), largest power producer in the Kingdom, had said in September last year that peak electricity load hit its highest level ever in August driven by local demand for power during the summer. SEC’s peak load rose by 10.2 per cent to 62,260MW from 56,547MW a year earlier.
“The expansion plan in the sector requires the execution of electricity projects for the next ten years whose costs will exceed US$133.3bn and in which the private sector is expected to take part,” Hussayen revealed, adding, “Contracts to build an electricity grid to connect Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be signed before mid-2016, and the project would operate at full capacity before mid-2019.”
Reuters has reported that the project aims to allow power trading between the two countries. Peak-time summer power consumption in Saudi Arabia falls between noon and mid-afternoon, when air conditioners are used most intensively, while in Egypt the peak is after sunset.
According to deputy oil minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s energy consumption was expected to grow by four to five per cent annually in the next few years, reaching double its current level by 2030 if no efficiency measures are taken.