Power rationed amid Saudi electricity shortage

Factories in Jeddah told that electricity will be turned off each day from 1-4pm.
Power rationed amid Saudi electricity shortage
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 16 Jun 2009 06:52 AM

Power chiefs in a Saudi Arabian city have begun rationing electricity to businesses to avoid a major blackout as demand soars in the summer.

The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) sent out letters to factories and businesses in the Industrial City in south Jeddah last week to inform them that power would be cut everyday from 1-4pm.

While a SEC spokesman said factories were chosen for the rationing "because every industrial project should be equipped with emergency generators”, many owners have protested.

“Cutting power from factories is something that should not happen for any reason and the SEC should consider the impact of such a policy on the industrial sector in Saudi Arabia,” said Sameer Muraad, head of the Industrial Committee in the Jeddah Chamber for Commerce and Industry (JCCI), in comments published by Saudi Gazette on Tuesday.

“This is a very sensitive sector. We hope to get an explanation from SEC and find a solution to this problem,” he told the paper.

Abdussalam Al-Yemni, deputy executive director of SEC Public Affairs, said that the company has informed factories that electricity will be cut for only a short time during the peak hours when the generators are overloaded.

“We will always provide our best services to the important industrial sector, but, at the moment, we are more concerned about social issues than commercial ones, and we would like the factory owners to try to understand the problem we are facing,” Al-Yemni told the paper.

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