Saudi increases power projects spend estimate by US$25 billion

Electricity_pylon_-_blue_skySaudi Arabia’s power demands have grown dramatically over the past decade. (Image source: Pawel Kryj)Saudi Arabia has increased its estimated spend on power projects over the next ten year from SAR 300 billion (US$80 billion) to more than SAR 400 billion (US$106.6 billion), according to the country’s deputy electricity minister

Speaking to Reuters, Saleh al-Awaji said, “Some time [ago] we announced SAR 300 billion and we increased it due to the latest developments – especially in the housing sector and also the new infrastructure funded by the government.”

Last year the chief executive of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) said the utility firm would revise its SR 300 billion 10-year investment plan as state infrastructure demands were forcing the company to speed up delivery times on power projects.

“We have experienced a growth [in demand] of 8 per cent in the last ten years and we are expecting to maintain almost the same level for the next ten years,” remarked al-Awaji.

“No doubt that at the end of the decade we [will be] expecting to reduce the demand due to the intensive efforts for improving efficiency.”

Al-Awaji, who is also the chairman of SEC, said the funds would be used to boost capacity from an installed capacity of 50,000 MW to at least 80,000 MW by 2020.

He added that in 2022, dependent on whether growth rates remain the same, SEC would require an installed capacity of 120 GW.

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