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Tue 27 Dec 2011 07:06 PM

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Saudi Electricity to launch new transmission unit

Move comes as state-owned utility splits into six companies to spur competition

Saudi Electricity to launch new transmission unit
Saudi Electricity is set to launch a transmission unit

State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) plans to launch a transmission subsidiary in January as it splits up into six companies to encourage competition, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.

After the restructuring, SEC will be a holding company and will retain full ownership of the six companies, which include four power generation firms, one firm for distribution and another one for transmission.

The cost of the restructuring programme is estimated at around SR200m ($53.3m), Ali Bin Saleh al-Barrak, SEC's chief executive told SPA.

"As a result, the Saudi market will be competitive, which will help increase productivity, efficiency and attract investment to meet high demand," Barrak added.

Saudi Electricity has an $80bn investment plan to increase its power generation capacity by 30,000 megawatts by 2018 to meet power demand, which is growing at around 8 percent a year.

He said SEC would not float shares of the newly established companies in the Saudi bourse nor eye strategic partners in the near future.

Barrak has said SEC would complete the restructuring programme in 2011 and the companies formed would be in operation by 2012.

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