Minister of Industry and Electricity Dr. Hashem Bin Abdullah Yamani today opened a workshop on rationalization of electric power in the Kingdom, organized by the World Bank Group. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Yamani declared that in spite of the rapidly increasing demand for electricity, long-term plans were expected to meet Saudi Arabia's needs, which would reach 70 thousand megawatts in twenty years' time. Nevertheless, he urged rationalization of consumption. He pointed out that the government has long been aware of the importance of this, and referred to a royal decree dated 1985 that mandated thermal insulation in all public buildings.
Dr. Yamani went on to announce that the electric power sector would eventually be opened up for public competition, adding that no special concessions would be granted to any specific company and that international investors were welcome. He reported that work is under way to implement the first phase of linking the power grids of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.