Saudi Arabia will spend more than SR700 billion in the next two decades to upgrade water and electricity production facilities and infrastructure projects related to the two sectors, local media said quoting an expert.
Adil Bushnaq, head of Saudi Water and Power Forum (SWPF), was quoted by Al-Hayat daily as saying: “The Kingdom is one of the leading countries in using water technologies and considered the biggest water desalination producing countries. This has made it imperative for the Kingdom to work out strategic plans to cut down desalination costs and increase products and services in this regard.”
The forum will kick off in Jeddah on Dec. 1, with participants and experts coming from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.
The three-day event is meant to encourage investments in power and water projects, seek more involvement of private sector in such projects to push the wheels of national economy, provide job opportunities for Saudis, and expand partnerships between Saudi businessmen and their counterparts in international companies.
Bushnaq noted that demand on power and water in the Kingdom is poised to grow by10 percent annually which, he said, is very high by global standards and constitutes a key challenge, which will consume all locally-produced fuels for the production of water and electricity in the next two decades if consumption continues at the current rates.
The expansion experienced by the Kingdom in the area of water and power, the largest in the region, has brought more than 200 specialized international and local companies to join the event either through presentation of work papers or participation at the exhibition associated with the event, he said.
The forum will explore strategies aimed to produce power and water at higher efficiency levels by using the latest technologies and alternative energy resources, rationalization of consumption and enlightenment of consumers on the actual funds being borne by the state budget in this regard, he added.