Saudi Arabia will need to invest SR500 billion ($133.3 billion) in electricity projects over the next 10 years to cope with rising power demand, said a top official.
Minister Abdullah Al Hussayen told an industry conference the country expects peak electricity to hit 90,000 MW in 2022. Installed capacity is around 70,000 MW now.
Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the largest power producer in the kingdom, said peak electricity load hit its highest level ever in August, driven by local demand for power during the summer. SEC’s peak load rose by 10.2 per cent to 62,260 MW from 56,547 MW a year earlier.
“The expansion plan in the sector requires the execution of electricity projects for the next 10 years, the costs of which will exceed SR500 billion ($133.3 billion) and in which the private sector is expected to take part,” Al Hussayen said.
He added that contracts to build an electricity grid to connect Saudi Arabia and Egypt would be signed by the middle of the year, and the project would operate at full capacity before mid-2019.