‘Saudi Arabia leads power generation construction projects in Middle East’

power OranViriyincy flickrThe total value of power generation construction projects in the pipeline in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) currently stands at US$876.6bn, with Saudi Arabia and South Africa accounting for the largest shares, valued at US$275.5bn and US$167.4bn respectively

According to the new report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), the nuclear sector has the highest value at US$367.5bn with Saudi Arabia taking US$211bn of this share. Gas power generation is in second place with a value of US$149.4bn. Renewables energy is beginning to make inroads in terms of being alternatives to fossil fuel investment, with solar power projects having a combined value of US$126.5bn, ahead of hydroelectric with US$46.1bn and wind with US$20.1bn.

Saudi Arabia leads in the nuclear, gas and oil sectors, and is one of the three countries in the MEA region, together with Iraq and Zimbabwe, investing in the oil sector.

South Africa has the highest investment in coal power generation, followed by Egypt, and is historically dependent on the fuel as a main producer of coal. Egypt plans to have 15 per cent of its power generation supplied by coal by 2030, although still dependent on imported coal.

Meanwhile, Nigeria surpasses other countries in the solar power sector with projects valued at US$39.5bn. It is to a large extent due to the Nigerian government investing substantially in the sector to connect its population to a power source.

Neil Martin, manager at Timetric's CIC said, “Although the countries in the Middle East and Africa are beginning to invest in renewable fuel, with countries such as Nigeria leading in solar energy, Kenya with geothermal and Ethiopia with hydroelectric, nuclear power generation remains a significant part of the strategy for Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Iran and the UAE. Gas, oil and coal power continues to play a significant role in the power strategy for most of the countries studied as ongoing power demands from growing populations and increased industrialization drive investment in these sectors.”

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