12% rise in Riyadh electricity demand - report

8 electricity generator units were temporarily put out of action in Saudi Arabia.
(Getty Images)
By Neeraj Gangal
Fri 25 Jun 2010 12:35 PM

The high temperatures in the west of Saudi Arabia recently put eight electricity generator units temporarily out of action, according to Saudi Gazette report.

“The failure was caused by a hot sandstorm which hit the Jeddah region and the temperatures have greatly reduced the capabilities of generator plants,” Ali Al Barrak, the executive president of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) said.

“But we were able to get the units operating again after a short time and return full power to all users.”

Barrak added that the increased temperatures in the central and western regions had led to a 12 percent increase on the highest-ever demand in Riyadh recorded in 2009.

“Users in the central region and the east have not been affected by the power cuts,” he said. “The SEC has managed to keep supplying them all with electricity.”

Saudi Gazette added that the chairman of the Shoura Council’s Water, Utilities and Public Services Committee, meanwhile, has said that the SEC is “suffering from a lot of problems”.

Muhammad Al Quwaihis said the SEC needed to find “urgent and swift solutions to these annual power cuts” and draw up a “strategic plan with real effects on the ground”.

“The SEC has numerous problems in its reserve energy facilities, failures in generator machinery capabilities, transporting networks, and insufficient distribution systems. It also has issues with ageing generators passing their operational life spans,” Al Quwaihis said.

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