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Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) plans to build a new oil fired power plant in Jeddah over the next four years, industry sources said.
The 2,400-megawatt (MW), heavy fuel oil burning plant is expected to be completed by 2016 and will be called Jeddah South. At least five companies are bidding to build it, the sources revealed.
Saudi Electricity has an US$80-billion investment plan to increase its power generation capacity by 30,000MW by 2018 to meet rising power demand in the country.
The world's top oil exporter burns tens of millions of barrels of oil a year to meet rising electricity demand as its modest gas supplies are channelled to other industries.
To reduce oil usage
Riyadh hopes one of the world's most ambitious nuclear power programmes, combined with solar power and gas fired power plants, will help it reduce oil use in future.
SEC said recently it had approved a 2012 budget of over SR55 billion (US$14.66 billion) to build new power plants, transmission and distribution projects.