Last Updated: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:46 pm (KSA) 09:46 am (GMT)

Power outages in Saudi Arabia increase as Ramadan consumption hikes

An official of the Saudi Electricity Company has denied accusations that old cables are to blame for the recent power outages in the kingdom. (Reuters)
An official of the Saudi Electricity Company has denied accusations that old cables are to blame for the recent power outages in the kingdom. (Reuters)

Head of the western division at the Saudi Electricity Company Abdul Moueen bin Hassan al-Sheikh revealed that the continuous power outages in Jeddah are due to the increasing electricity consumption during the holy month of Ramadan.

“Consumption has remarkably increased since the beginning of Ramadan by 8 percent,” the Saudi edition of al-Hayat quoted Sheikh as saying.

Sheikh explained that the delay in fixing the power stations, which have been experiencing intensive pressure, is due to protests by residents in affected neighborhoods.

“Protesters made it difficult for technicians to fix the failure in the Om al-Selm in southern Jeddah.”

Sheikh added that they had to resort to the police to disperse the crowds. After that, repair started on the station.

“Part of the problem was fixed and the rest will be soon. Technicians are working 24/7.”

In addition to increased consumption, Sheikh noted, construction work around the power station was also partially responsible for the problem.

“A lot of digging eventually affects the electricity infrastructure in the area. That is why the electricity company is currently coordinating with the Jeddah city council to avoid similar problems in the future.”

While the electricity company is doing its best to cater to customers’ needs, Sheikh said, it is also important that customers cooperate by reducing consumption.

Sheikh denied allegations that power outages were occurring due to old cables.

“This is inaccurate. Electric cables are supposed to have a long life and networks work efficiently for more than 35 years.”

Several neighborhoods in Jeddah have been suffering from daily power outages that usually start at dawn. Residents of these areas eat their sohour, the pre-fasting meal, on candlelight and the dawn call for prayers is made without a microphone.

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