Last Updated: Thu May 26, 2011 17:29 pm (KSA) 14:29 pm (GMT)

Saudi electricity demand to increase dramatically by 2020, says chief of electricity board

Population growth in the Kingdom will result in an increase in demand for electricity by more than 30,000 megawatts by the year 2020. (File photo)
Population growth in the Kingdom will result in an increase in demand for electricity by more than 30,000 megawatts by the year 2020. (File photo)

The CEO and President of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Ali Al-Barrak, has called upon foreign investors to take advantage of what he described as “good investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia”.

He said that the Saudi Electricity Company plans to spend $80 billion over the next decade to keep pace with population growth happening in the Kingdom, which will result in an increase in demand for electricity by more than 30,000 megawatts by the year 2020.

Mr. Barrak’s comments came during an exclusive interview with the London-based leading online industry publication, The International Resource Journal (IRJ). Mr. Barrak told the IRJ that work has already begun to keep pace with the anticipated increase in demand, where “there are projects that have been announced, and there are other projects being planned and will be launched later and the other is applied now and will enter service within three years.”

Mr. Barrak also emphasized that his company guarantees all investors absolute transparency and fair dealing in all processes.

On the other hand, Mr. Barrak revealed that 70 percent of energy consumption in the Kingdom goes to air conditioning, revealing that this is largely due to consumers using inefficient devices.

However, the main factor behind this amount of electricity consumption is the nature of the climate in Saudi Arabia, where the demand will rise during the daylight hours dramatically, and during the summer where the temperature rises to above 50 degrees Celsius.

Mr. Barrak also said that a project to link all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States through a power-grid has been completed with similar plans reaching their final stages to link the Saudi Western Coast with Egypt.

(This article first appeared in International Resource Journal.)

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