• Saudi Electricity Company to borrow $3.8bn to finance capital spending programme
  • It is negotiating a revolving credit facility totalling $2.3bn
  • It also plans $1.5bn in Islamic bonds

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has announced it will seek about $3.8bn in financing to fund capital investment in projects.

It plans to negotiate a revolving credit facility of between three and five years.

The firm aims to secure $1.5bn of dollar-denominated credit and SR3bn ($800m) in local currency.

Reuters reported in July that SEC was already in negotiations with local and international banks.

The company will also prepare a sukuk (Islamic bond) programme worth up to $1.5bn, possibly through multiple issuances.

SEC had a net income (profit) of SR3.6bn in 2014, but often makes heavy quarterly losses due to troughs and peaks in electricity demand. In the first quarter of 2015, the company reported a SR1.9bn loss.

Electricity tariffs are heavily subsidised in Saudi Arabia.

The state utility is planning to add an additional 47,711MW of generation capacity to the grid by 2024 as peak demand is expected to rise by 4.5-5 per cent a year until 2030. SEC has estimated this will require a total investment of $187bn over 10 years.

SEC has changed tactics in recent years, returning to an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model after a programme of 13 independent power projects (IPPs). This means the company will have to directly finance its projects rather than relying on private developers and financiers.

Only one private project, the Fadhili IPP, remains. SEC is currently tendering the 1,200-1,600MW cogeneration project with state oil firm Saudi Aramco.

Selected Saudi Electricity Company planned EPC power projects
Project Capacity Cost  Stage
Duba ISCC 550MW $600m Evaluating bids
Waad al-Shamal ISCC  1050MW $1.3bn Evaluating bids
North Qassim combined-cycle 1800MW $1.5bn Study
South Medina combined cycle 3600MW $3.5bn Study
ISCC=integrated solar combined cycle. Sources: MEED; MEED Projects

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