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SR750b needed for power projects in next 15 years
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 01 - 11 - 2008

Faisal, Emir of Makkah Region, will inaugurate the Fourth Saudi Water and Power Forum (SWPF'08) here on Sunday.
The forum has become a necessary and welcome annual event as the development of water and electricity sectors is essential in the light of an expected 45 percent increase in population to 36.4 million by 2020. Total water supply in the Kingdom is now estimated at 52 million cubic meters (MCM) a day.
Saudi Arabia will require an investment of more than SR750 billion ($200 billion) for power generation projects during the next 15 years in order to meet the needs of its growing population and economic development.
The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has projected that water demand in Saudi Arabia will rise to 24,200 MCM by the year 2025, broken down as follows: 6,450 MCM for domestic use, 16,300 MCM for agriculture, and 1,450 for industrial consumption.
According to ESCWA, the Kingdom leads other Gulf countries in water consumption due to increasing requirements of its agricultural and industrial sectors, particularly, petrochemicals, cement, foods and beverage production.
“Most industrial activities (in the Gulf region) are close to major urban centers, requiring competition with the domestic sector to satisfy water requirements. In urban areas with concentrated industrial activities, industrial water requirements represent the major aspect of water consumption in relation to domestic requirements,” ESCWA explained.
“In most of the GCC countries, field development and petrochemical industries are considered to be water-use intensive, and rely on groundwater supplemented with surface water, desalination, and a limited amount of recycled water,” it added. Saudi Arabia has limited water resources but the consumption per capita is above 250 liters per day, one of the highest rates in the world.
According to Adel Bushnak, chairman of the Bushnak Group, water leakages are a main source of wastage of this precious liquid, and one way of ensuring continuous supply of water is to check its leakages and wastage.
He said that 30 percent of water is lost every day in Jeddah due to leakages and wastage. “We want to bring it down to five percent by investing SR500 million in plugging the leakages in the water system,” he said.
The privatization of the sectors will be the focus of the SWPF'08, which has as its theme ‘Change, Innovation and Sustainable Development.'
The Forum will begin with four sessions, followed by four more on Monday and site visit and workshops on Tuesday.
The first session will discuss international experiences and challenges of change in water and power projects and public and private partnerships (PPPs). It will see what lessons can be learnt from PPPs in the region, new PPP models generated by the regional trend of economic cities, and international perspective of the Saudi water and electricity privatisation program
The second session will be on the impact of tariff policy on utilities. The third session will be on achieving sustainability through innovation, which will cover water and power innovation eco-systems, and measures to curb water and electricity consumption.
All sessions will be followed by questions and answers.
There will be a total of eight working sessions dealing with major requirements of the water and electricity sectors in the Kingdom, especially the requirements of the mega economic cities being developed in Rabegh, Hail, Madina and Jizan. – SG __


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