SCECO launches second electric link in Al-Qassim
The Saudi Consolidated Electricity Co. (SCECO) Central Region will soon begin to operate a second electrical supply line to Al-Qasim region. Planned to commence operations early next year, the line will connect nearly 8,000 inhabitants to the electric power grid, according to Al-Watan daily. SCECO-Central director, Ali Bin Salah Al-Barrak, stated that the cost of constructing the project was estimated at 400 million Saudi riyals ($106.6 million).
The 210-kilometer project hooks up Al-Qassim and Hail in the northern part of the country and also includs a 40-kilometer spur to Buraida. Construction Company (SST), the local affiliate of the Swiss ABB Asea Brown Boveri, won the contract for the installation of the 380 kilovolt (Kv) link double-circuit overhead transmission line in 1999. The contract to manage and control the new interconnection was awarded in February 2001 to Foxboro.
The other major electricity transmission line, in the works since July 1998, is a high-voltage 300-kilomete link between Riyadh and Al-Qassim, planned to pass via Majma'a, where a new substation is built.
SCECO-Central is the electric utility responsible for providing power to the central province of Saudi Arabia, which includes the principal cities of Riyadh, Al-Kharj, Al-Qassim, and numerous smaller cities and villages.
Established in 1979 with paid in capital of $2.2 billion, SCECO-Central is 80 percent owned by the Saudi government. Total generating capacity of SCECO-Central is 5300 MW. An additional 1800 MW is purchased from SCECO East. There are nine major power plants and 50 major sub-station facilities in the SCECO-Central grid systems.
With a generating capacity of 22,000 megawatts, Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of electricity in the Arab world. It is projected that at the current annual five percent growth rate in demand for electricity, Saudi Arabia will require a to expand its generating capacity nearly fourfold by the year 2020, at a SR438 billion ($120 billion) expense. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)