State-controlled Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is planning to launch a transmission subsidiary in January next year as it splits up into six companies to encourage greater competition, says state news agency SPA.

Once the restructuring is complete, SEC will be a holding company and will retain full ownership of the six companies, which include four power generation firms, one distribution company and another one for transmission.

The cost of the restructuring programme is estimated at around 200m riyals ($53m), Ali Bin Saleh al-Barrak, SEC’s chief executive told SPA.

“As a result, the Saudi market will be competitive, which will help increase productivity, efficiency and attract investment to meet high demand,” Barrak added.

Saudi Electricity has an $80 billion investment plan to increase its generation capacity by 30 000 MW by 2018 in an effort to meet power demand, which is growing at a healthy 8 per cent annually.

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