Saudi utilities investment needed

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must invest US $43.5 billion (SR163 billion) in its utilities infrastructure by 2016 to meet demand according to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).

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By  Alison Luke Published  December 16, 2006

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must invest US $43.5 billion (SR163 billion) in its utilities infrastructure by 2016 to meet demand according to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). Chief executive officer Ali Al Barak stated that the investment is needed in the fields of generation, transmission and distribution. It includes $18 billion to generate an additional 24,000MW of electricity over the period. Speaking at the Water and Energy Forum in Jeddah during November he announced: “SEC will spend SR20 billion ($5 billion) to implement a number of projects to generate 7,000MW.” Projects include the expansion of the Al Qaryat plant plus a new generating facility in Riyadh Al Barak. The forum discussed SEC’s privatisation plans and the need for investors to enable a sustained growth in the sector. The remaining projects to create 17,000MW will be awarded to private sector firms. The Kingdom is also implementing a number of major water and sewage projects at a total cost of $13.3 billion. Minister for water and electricity Abdullah Al Hussain revealed at an international conference in Jeddah that around 30% of the existing supply is being lost through leakage in the network. The average daily per capita use of water in Saudi Arabia is over 250 litres. The contract for the Shuqaia Independent Water and Power Project was recently awarded to a consortium comprising Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation, Kuwait’s Gulf Investment Corporation and ACWA Power Projects. The complex will generate 850MW of power and 214,000m3 of water per day.

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