Saturday, January 12, 2008

No Summer Cut in Power supply, says SEC

Friday, 11 January 2008
By Adel Al-Malki

Saudi Electricity Company has a plan to ensure no breakdown in electricity supply during summer.

Ali Al-Barak, SEC executive chairman, gave industrialists, traders and shopping center owners this assurance Wednesat the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in view of the growing number of factories in the country.

Olfat Qabani, head of Social Responsibility at JCCI, appealed to the private sector to set up electric power stations, especially in industrial zones.

" The need is urgent given the steady growth of the manufacturing sector and the many challenges facing the Kingdom, especially since its entry into the WTO (World Trade Organization)," Qabani said.

There were some of 3,986 factories in operation in the country by the end of the first half of 2007, with investments totaling SR306 billion.

Small- and medium-scale industries accounted for up to 80 percent of the factories. Last December, SEC signed three contracts worth SR3.8 billion for the expansion of its Rabigh power plant.

The expansion will increase the plant's capacity by 960 megawatt to reach a total capacity to 2,684 megawatt, which is sufficient for the growing electricity requirements in the Makkah and Madinah regions.

SEC has also signed an agreement with the National Contracting Company to establish 16 gas turbine units at the plant.

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