Saudi Hikes Generation Capacity, Boosts Combined Cycle Usage

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), which accounts for around 90% of the kingdom’s electricity generating capacity, raised its total capacity to 58.46GW at end-2013, up 9.1% from 53.59GW at end-2012. In doing so, it is staying ahead of the Ministry of Electricity’s estimate of an average 5%/year increase in Saudi power demand (MEES, 6 June). Consumption by SEC customers actually fell by 4% to 199TWh last year, and the company’s newly released 2013 annual report touts the impact of its efficiency drive and a sharp increase in use of combined cycle capacity.

Whilst open-cycle gas turbine capacity continues to account for over 50% of total capacity, and steam turbine (usually burning fuel oil or crude oil) accounts for a further 19%, the combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) share has been rising rapidly, reflecting SEC’s plans to improve the efficiency of its power generation and to reduce liquids burning (MEES, 4 April).


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