'Alarming power demand' in Riyadh sees SEC action

Two contracts worth $123.7m signed for electricity conversion plants

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Riyadh has experienced a surge in electricity demand.
Riyadh has experienced a surge in electricity demand.

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is taking action to address what the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC) has described as an “alarming power demand in the Kingdom, especially in Riyadh.”

The company has signed two contracts worth a total of SAR 464m with a Saudi company for the establishment and expansion of two electricity plants in the Saudi capital, which sources say is directly linked to the concerns about electricity consumption in Riyadh.

“The project comes within the framework of the company’s efforts to enhance the electrical system,” SEC chief executive officer Ali bin Saleh Al-Barrak was quoted by a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report as saying.

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Naif Al-Abadi, director general of SEEC, had said earlier this week that the per capita consumption of electricity in the Kingdom was three times higher than the world average and suggested that the likely cause of the problem is the low cost of fuel in Saudi Arabia resulting in cheap electricity.

He forecast that power consumption in the country will continue to increase and is expected to reach 8 million barrel of oil equivalent per day.

SEC, which specialises in supplying electricity in Saudi Arabia, is owned by the Saudi government and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company.

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