JUBAIL: The Saudi electricity sector needs an estimated SR700 billion investment in the next 10 years with a large percentage expected from the private sector, said Saleh bin Hussain Al-Awaji, deputy minister for water and electricity and chairman of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).
New plans were launched for the establishment of companies provided with specialized staff to design and implement projects in the electricity sector throughout the Kingdom, Al-Awaji said, adding that this national trend encouraged the SEC to establish the SEC for Projects Development, an engineering company wholly owned by SEC.
According to Al-Awaji, the main tasks of the subsidiary company are in the design and management of projects as well as the supervision of the implementation works to enrich the engineering experience and knowledge to SEC employees, instead of relying on non-Saudi consultants.
The subsidiary company is fully staffed by Saudi specialized and qualified cadres, who will manage all operations in the future to meet the different needs of SEC, as well as the needs of the electricity sector in the Kingdom. “There is no local experience in the Kingdom capable of designing and implementing high-tech electricity projects,” he added.
Al-Awaji said that projects in the electricity sector and the labor market indicate that this new company will only meet about 25 percent of the SEC’s needs, which gives an indication of the magnitude of the Saudi market and the available opportunities to other competitors.
He said that other companies are planned to be established, such as the independent electricity production companies, in cooperation with the private sector, confirming that there are other companies producing electricity, such as Saudi Aramco and the General Establishment for Water Desalination (GEWD), along with a number of private companies.
On the rationalization of electricity consumption, Al-Awaji said: “Due to the lack of awareness among consumers, the per capita consumption in the Kingdom, especially in the residential sector, recorded the highest rates, leading to high demand growth for electricity compared to other countries.”
The Saudi Center for Energy Efficiency is currently implementing a package of programs aimed to reduce the electricity over consumption. In addition, legislations are issued in regards to the specifications of electrical equipment and home appliances to raise their efficiency to the highest possible level.