Oil report

Saudi Electric to boost capacity; lure U.S. tenders - CEO

JEDDAH, May 16 (Reuters) - Saudi Electricity Co 5110.SE is offering U.S. firms tenders to build a group of power plants that will boost capacity by an additional 30,000 megawatts, its chief executive said in published remarks on Sunday.

The projects, to be completed within the coming ten years, will cost between $70-80 billion, said CEO Ali Saleh al-Barrak in local daily Asharq Alawsat.

“Many of the firms that we met in the United States... showed their readiness to work with us as investors, while others showed interest to work as contractors, and based on that they will submit bids for us to study,” Barrak said.

Saudi Electricity, which produces around 40,000 megawatts, plans to spend $80 billion to add 20,000 megawatts through 2018, as well as $20 billion on independent power producer (IPP) projects to add more than 10,000 megawatts of capacity.

The firm is executing projects to meet the growing energy demand in the kingdom which is increasing at a rate of 8 percent a year.

Earlier this month, SEC raised 7 billion riyals ($1.87 billion) from a 7-year Islamic bond. [ID:nLDE6490QZ]

The firm was granted 15 billion Saudi riyals in April as a soft loan from the government to fund projects that will deal with the pent up energy demand.

Al-Barrak said in the interview that he intends to create a number of power generation companies, and one transport company which will function as subsidiary firms for the company that will be established as part of a restructuring program. (Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Dinesh Nair)