Riyadh has selected consultants to advise on three new independent power projects (IPPs) in the kingdom, which will require a total investment of SR 21,000 million ($5,619 million).

The new plants should add 5,200 MW to the domestic grid by 2015.

State-run Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has appointed Citigroup as financial adviser and Germany’s Fichtner as the technical consultant. Baker Botts with the local Mohamed Bin Saud Al-Rasheed is the legal adviser.

SEC will initially focus on two IPPs, one at Rabigh, on the west coast, and the other in the capital. The oil-fired plant at Rabigh, 140 kilometres north of Jeddah, will have a capacity of 1,200 MW and the Riyadh plant, PP11, will be a gas-fired plant with a capacity of 2,000 MW. A third, 2,000-MW oil-fired plant is also planned for Al-Qurayyah in the Eastern Province.

Under the IPP programme, a series of project companies will be set up, with private developers taking a 60 per cent stake and SEC taking 10 per cent. The remaining 30 per cent will either be held by a third party or SEC, or the developer may be allowed to increase its stake in

the company.

The IPP project is part of a wider $51,000 million, 10-year programme by the government to meet rising power demand. This is set to increase by 134 per cent from 29.9 GW to 70 GW by 2024 (MEED 6:7:07).