Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) announced on 19 August that its board has approved the resignation of President and CEO Ali bin Salah al-Barrak “upon his own request.” Mr Barrak, who was appointed chief executive of the state utility in October 2006, will step down from his post officially on 1 January 2014. SEC has already lined up his successor – Ziad bin Muhammad al-Shiha, currently Executive Director for Power Systems at state oil firm Saudi Aramco.

Mr Barrak instigated a major expansion of generating and transmission capacity at SEC to keep pace with soaring electricity demand as Saudi Arabia’s industrial development gathered pace. SEC’s generating capacity now stands at 55.85GW, compared with 30.13GW at end-2006. Besides escalating demand, he has had to plan for the government’s push to curb oil burning to protect export revenues, competition for gas from the booming Saudi petrochemicals sector, and growing constraints on state-funded investment. (CONTINUED - 288 WORDS)