Saudi Arabia is implementing SR17 billion [U.S. $4.53 billion] worth of power projects in a move to cope with the increasing demand for electricity, which is projected to grow by 4.5 percent annually through 2020. Since its establishment three years ago, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has implemented electricity projects at a cost of SR21 billion [U.S. $5.6 billion], and a ninth power plant was recently opened. Also completed are projects that include units 6 and 7 of the Ghazlan steam plant and two units of the Shuayba steam power plant, as well as expansion of power plants in Asir, Jizan, Tihama and Arar.
According to a local bank survey, over the coming 23 years the Kingdom will require funding of U.S. $115 billion to set up new power generation projects. The existing capacity is currently around 23,400 megawatts, with predictions of additional power capacity requirements of around 20,000 megawatts by the year 2010.