Saudi Arabia’s power sector will require SR500bn ($133.3bn) of investment in new projects to ensure that supply remains above demand.

Speaking at the Saudi Water & Electricity Forum, Abdullah al-Hussayen, Minister of Water & Electricity, said that the SR500bn investment would be required to meet the growing power demand.

The Ministry of Water & Electricity (MOWE) forecasts that peak demand for power will reach 90,000MW by 2022, up from the 62,260MW reached in August 2015. Peak demand for electricity grew by more than 10 per cent in 2015.

Also speaking at the conference in Riyadh, Ziyad Mohammed al- Shiha, CEO of state utility Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) said that 13GW of new generation capacity would come online in the next five years, boosting the current installed capacity by 13 per cent.

In addition to building new capacity, Al-Shiha said that a key priority for SEC was improving efficiency of existing and new plants. The CEO said that the utility was targeting an efficiency rate of 40 per cent by 2020, up from the 32 per cent efficiency rate in 2013.

The governor of Saudi Arabia’s Electricity & Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (Ecra) told conference delegates that improvements in the efficiency of power generation infrastructure would result in SR50bn ($13.3bn) of savings over the next 20 years.