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Saudi Arabia peak electricity demand is expected to continue growing in the medium term. However, state firm Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and other generators are developing projects with enough capacity to meet expected need.
Peak electricity load in Saudi Arabia is projected to rise by 18GW or 32% from 2014 to 2020, according to the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA). In its newly-released annual statistical booklet for 2014, ECRA sees peak demand rising from 57GW in 2014 to 75GW in 2020, with a new record demand of 60GW forecast for 2015.
The agency says that Saudi installed generating capacity – defined as the total capacity stipulated in contracts between ECRA and its electricity suppliers – amounted to 76.84GW at the end of 2014. Open cycle gas turbines are the biggest contributor, with 47% of installed capacity, while steam turbines comprise 40%. The authority adds that actual available capacity at end-2014 amounted to 65.51GW, which was around 9GW more than the peak load requirement. SEC operates the largest amount of generating capacity in the country, having 54.72GW of installed capacity in 46 plants at the end of 2014. The second largest generator is desalination plant operator Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) with 4.76GW in six plants. State petroleum firm Saudi Aramco has 1.93GW in eight plants.
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