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Tue 19 Feb 2008 12:46 PM

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Saudi boosts domestic power supply

Saudi Electricity says $40bn needed in investments by 2017 to reach demand.

Saudi Electricity, the Gulf's largest utility by market value, said on Tuesday it is spending almost 1.1 billion riyals ($293.3 million) to boost power transmission within the kingdom.

The investment will finance three projects to connect the power grids in the southern and western parts of the kingdom.

"This will actively help in generating a surplus between these two regions ... especially in emergency cases," the firm said in a statement posted on the bourse's Web site.

The project also involves boosting the power transmission capacity of the connection between the Eastern province and Riyadh, it added.

Saudi Electricity, which had to ration supplies in the heavily-industrialised Eastern and Riyadh provinces in the summer of 2006, has said 150 billion riyals of investment is needed by the end of 2017 to cope with rising demand for electricity in the world's top oil exporter. (Reuters)

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