Saudi Electricity awards $186m power deals

State utility invests in new substations after thousands suffered blackouts in July
Saudi Electricity awards $186m power deals
Electricity pylon
By Reuters
Mon 13 Aug 2012 05:57 PM

State-owned Saudi Electricity Co is splashing out hundreds of millions of riyals to improve its power distribution network, after thousands of people suffered blackouts last month including some in two of the kingdom's biggest cities Jeddah and Riyadh.

SEC said in a statement on Monday it had awarded three contracts worth around SR700m ($186.6m) in total involving the construction of two substations to boost its networks in the western city of Jeddah and in the Medina area, and to extend cables to some plants in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital.

The contracts, given to unnamed companies, are part of the company's efforts to boost the electricity network, meet rising demand and avoid power cuts, SEC said quoting its chief executive officer, Ali Bin Saleh al-Barrak.

Several regions of Saudi Arabia suffered power cuts in July, as a surge in demand in the holy month of Ramadan squeezed supply margins and overloaded distribution systems, the state utility had said.

SEC said in July demand for power reached more than 50,500 megawatts and hit a record high peak load, despite an addition of 3,500 megawatts of power generation capacity, but said it had a low level of reserve margins used for peak demand.

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