Saudi Arabia is seeking to save SR50bn ($13.3bn) through improving the efficiency of the power sector.

Speaking at the Saudi Water & Electricity Forum in Riyadh on 8 February, Abdullah al-Shehri, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Electricity & Cogeneration Regulatory Authority) said that improvements in the efficiency of power generation infrastructure would result in SR50bn of savings over the next 20 years.

One of the key strategies to boost efficiency of the kingdom’s power sector is through the conversion of simple-cycle power plants to combined-cycle generation facilities.

Al-Shehri said that improving the efficiency of power plants would result in savings of 175 million barrels of oil over this period.

Including under construction projects, state utility provider Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is planning to add 47,711MW of generation capacity to the grid by 2024.

The additional capacity will be developed mainly through the construction of new combined-cycle gas plants, but also through combined-cycle conversion projects, steam power schemes and also some smaller simple-cycle units in isolated power plants.