Saudi Electric Company plans $28bn investment over next three years

2 July 2009 – Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) plans to spend $28bn in the next three years to meet rising demand in the Arab world’s largest economy, according to CEO Ali Al-Barrak.

“We already have major projects under construction now,” said Ali Al-Barrak, CEO of the Riyadh-based state-controlled power producer, in an interview, reported the Saudi Gazette.

“This is to add about 13 000 MW of power and the required transmission distribution system.” SEC also plans to invest $70bn by 2018 to add 25 000 MW and match demand spurred by a $400bn, five-year government-spending program and a growing population.

The Kingdom’s electricity use may quadruple to 140 GW a year by 2032, according to forecasts from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

“There definitely is a lot of industrial expansion and for the next five to six years there are government projects to build infrastructure,” Al-Barrak said on Tuesday.

The Saudi population has tripled in the last 30 years to about 25m, and the growth will probably continue at about two per cent a year because almost half the population is younger than 20 years old, HSBC Holdings said in a report in May.

SEC will announce next week the closing of financing for the 10bn riyal ($2.7bn) Rabigh steam powered plant, Al-Barrak said. The facility will have a capacity of 1200 MW when it starts up by 2012.