Saudi Arabia Utilities

With some analysts expecting Saudi Arabia’s population to expand by over 10m to reach 39.1m by 2030, alongside continued growth in the Kingdom’s energy-intensive industries, demand for electricity and desalinated water is set to rise considerably in the coming years. Estimates suggest that more than SR500bn ($133.3bn) will need to be invested in the power sector over the next 10 years to ensure that supply keeps pace with demand, while an ever-rising demand for water means that desalination facilities will need capital investments of SR65.4bn ($17.4bn) by 2020. Natural gas meanwhile is set to become the greatest contributor to the Kingdom’s energy mix, with a target of 70%. While the price of oil had rallied in late 2016, reaching $50 a barrel in October, its decline from $115 per barrel in June 2014 to below $30 in January 2016 threw the issue of subsidy reform into sharp relief, leading to various initiatives aimed at curbing energy demand and enhancing efficiency.

This chapter contains an interview with Mohammed Abunayyan, Chairman, ACWA Power.