Saudi Arabia's power construction projects pipeline worth $275bn

Jul 30, 2016 12:00 AM

Saudi Arabia is driving the power generation construction projects pipeline in the Middle East and Africa, according to a new report from Timetric's Construction Intelligence Centre.

It said the total value of the projects pipeline in the region stands at $876.6 billion, with Saudi Arabia and South Africa accounting for the largest shares, with project pipelines valued at $275.5 billion and $167.4 billion, respectively.

Based on the projects tracked by the CIC, the nuclear sector has the highest value pipeline, at $367.5 billion, with Saudi Arabia taking $211 billion of this value.

Gas power generation is in second place with a value of $149.4 billion while renewables are beginning to make inroads in terms of being alternatives to fossil fuel investment, the report said.

Solar power projects currently have a combined value of $126.5 billion, ahead of hydroelectric with $46.1 billion and wind with $20.1 billion.

The report said Saudi Arabia leads in the nuclear, gas and oil sectors, and is one of the three countries in the region, together with Iraq and Zimbabwe, investing in the oil sector.

As both Saudi Arabia and Iraq are major oil producers, this fuel is a crucial part of the country's power generation strategy.

South Africa has the highest investment in coal power generation, followed by Egypt, and is historically dependent on the fuel as a main producer of coal. Egypt has no history of coal power generation but plans to have 15 percent of its power generation supplied by this fuel by 2030, although still dependent on imported coal.

Neil Martin, manager at Timetric's CIC, said: "Although the countries in the Middle East and Africa are beginning to invest in renewable fuel, with countries such as Nigeria leading in solar energy, Kenya with geothermal and Ethiopia with hydroelectric, nuclear power generation remains a significant part of the strategy for Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Iran and the UAE.

"Gas, oil and coal power continues to play a significant role in the power strategy for most of the countries studied as ongoing power demands from growing populations and increased industrialization drive investment in these sectors."

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