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Saudi Arabia to export power in 5 years

Jan 18, 2009 - MENAFN

(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia will start exporting power to the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the next five years, according to a power expert.

Delivering his keynote address on "Recent trends in power and water supply," Paddy Padmanathan, CEO and president of ACWA Power International, a private power consultant and developer, told a technical seminar organized by Institution of Engineers Pakistan Saudi Arabian Center (IEP-SAC) in Riyadh on Thursday that both power and water now remained essential commodities like rice and wheat.

He laid out the Kingdom's vision for addressing the next generation needs for power and focused his lecture on the initiatives of the Kingdom vis--vis creation of the culture of "private power and water" projects.

He added that change was coming in the Kingdom, like elsewhere internationally, and that the rational for change remained supreme. According to him, government by definition is structured to govern, make policies, create a level playing field, and to regulate and monitor only. "The private sector on the other hand is geared to produce goods and services efficiently. It adopts a more rigorous approach to understanding and managing risks. And, that the ownership and the profit (and/or loss) associated with it provides a significant impetus and incentive to deliver," he added.

According to him, till 2004 power and water in the Kingdom were provided by essentially four government-owned entities bulk water produced by Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC) which also co-generates power and sells to Saudi Electric Company (SEC); Electricity by SEC; Aramco produces its own power and water; and Marafiq also produces its own power and water (in addition to purchasing the same from SEC and SWCC) for its two industrial cities.

Pakistan Ambassador Shahid Karimullah, speaking as the chief guest, appreciated the efforts of IEP-SAC in promoting engineering professional culture among the Pakistanis in the Kingdom. He also appreciated the initiatives of IEP-SAC in providing scholarships to the needy students for pursuing their engineering education in Pakistan.

IEP-SAC's Chairman Masood Khan, incoming General Secretary (GS) Mubashar Kirmani and outgoing GS Dr. Nazar Malik also spoke.