Power cuts are crippling industrial plants in Saudi Arabia's second largest city, leaving the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) scrambling for a -solution. "The company will take steps to guarantee uninterrupted power supply to factories that suffer huge losses due to the frequent outages," Ali al Barrak, the company's executive president, told the Saudi English-language newspaper Arab News. But in Jeddah that could be ensured only by linking the Red Sea city to the electricity grid supplying Saudi Arabia's central region, or by building new power plants, he said. Both are medium-term solutions that would not solve the immediate problems of hundreds of plants at the nearby Jeddah Industrial City that have reportedly suffered huge losses because of frequent power cuts, which average 14 a month during summer. "The power cuts are resulting in huge setbacks in the manufacturing industry in Jeddah, and if this situation continues some factories might shut down," said Sameer Murad, the head of the factory committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "You can imagine the total losses suffered by the 460 factories in Jeddah." The Saudi Gazette reported that SEC had opted to cut power to factories in the industrial area south of Jeddah to prevent blackouts in the city's commercial core. Jeddah's electricity shortage this summer is being exacerbated by start-up problems at the Shuaiba-3 power plant, which is supposed to supply 900 megawatts (Mw) of electricity to SEC. But power cuts are an annual occurrence in Saudi Red Sea communities during the summer, when electricity demand peaks for air conditioning. Plans to make Saudi Arabia's power supply more reliable, and to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil as a fuel for elec-tricity generation, include linking the national power grid to the networks of Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, and investing more in gas exploration and development projects. The four-way grid hook-up could occur early next month, allowing the interlinked Gulf states to import and export electricity from each other to optimise the combined use of their generating capacity. But Kuwait and Bahrain are also grappling with power shortages. Despite holding the Gulf's biggest gas reserves - the third-largest in the world - Qatar exports most of its considerable gas output as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asian and European customers. It has so far developed only enough gas-fired power generating capacity to cover its domestic needs. Talks stalled this month regarding a Kuwaiti request for 500Mw of electricity supplies from Qatar during summer. Instead, Kuwait has reached a deal with Royal Dutch Shell for summer LNG supplies from a number of sources, starting in August. The fuel supplies would "contribute to meeting Kuwait's demand for power", Shell said last week. The Bahraini works minister, Fahmi al Jowder, said last week power cuts in the kingdom were "inevitable" this summer, and some had already occurred, affecting homes. Financing problems had delayed a number of power projects in Bahrain, he added. email@example.com
- Australia hopes to lure Emirati students to its institutions while selling uranium to the UAE
- Struggle to attract young Emiratis to offshore careers
- Taqa starts injecting natural gas at Dutch storage facility
- UAE support for oil price as demand picks up
- In pictures: Cyprus hopes for some windy weather
- India’s energy elephant only beginning to rumble
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- A cool Dubai penthouse treat at 1,000 feet, yours for Dh25 million
- In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living
- Emirates Airline to take Dh1 billion hit during Dubai airport runway upgrade
- Abu Dhabi-owned Mubadala triples profit in 2013 to Dh1.5 billion
- ‘In banking, go big or go home’, says ADIB chief behind turnaround
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- History shines light on the true borders of Palestine
- Reduce speed limit buffer on UAE roads, experts urge
- American ‘has UAE Embassy documents’ to back up medicinal marijuana claim
- Nakheel to sell plots for hotels and resorts on Dubai’s Deira Islands
- UAE’s healthcare system must grant equitable access to all
In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014
Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.
In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living
A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.
In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014
Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.
In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai
Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.
April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas
From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.
Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards
Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.