Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC), through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity as well as operating fiber optic networks, engaging in trading, and utilizing renewable energy sources. It generates gas in combined, steam, and diesel power plants and, in addition, constructs autonomous power plants on a build-own-operate basis. In the Central, Eastern, Western and Southern sectors, the company distributes power to clients in towns, cities, and communities. As of July 2022, SEC has a market capitalization of $26.89 billion, making it the world’s 622nd most valuable company.
The company’s commitment to innovation and ensuring power for future generations will see SEC continue to lead the field too. The Kingdom, for instance, has made considerable efforts in recent years to harness the power of the sun and wind to produce electricity, and SEC has been at the forefront. Of course, Saudi Arabia has considerable potential for renewable energy. It is geographically situated close to the Sun Belt, and there are plenty of empty desert stretches that might house solar power generation facilities. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is a desirable location for both CSP and PV power generation due to the huge sand resources that may be used in the production of silicon photovoltaic cells.
These initiatives will not only protect the environment but also safeguard valuable reserves of oil and gas that could otherwise be exported or turned into goods with added value. Considering that energy usage increased by 60% in the ten years preceding 2019, diversifying the electricity mix is crucial. By 2030, demand is anticipated to have increased even further, from 62.7 GW in 2019.
Saudi Arabia can play a significant role in the spread of solar energy in the whole MENA region, too, given its dominance in the Middle East. The Kingdom’s solar energy initiative might soon make it a net exporter of solar power.
The Kingdom also has plans for further investments in countries across the Middle East and North Africa, which could make Saudi Arabia a key supporter, if not producer, of solar power throughout the region. With Saudi investment and local support for solar power, these investments could establish a new sense of collaboration and renewable investment in the region.
In late 2020, SEC awarded five stars to the Waad Al Shamal integrated solar and combined cycle power plant project for Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), which illustrated its determination to stay on top of quality and performance. Fahad H. Al-Sudairi, the then President and CEO of SEC, said: “At SEC, we continuously assess progress against strict measures meant to ensure occupational safety and health across all our offices, existing facilities and projects.”
“SEC is committed to providing high-quality IT and communication services across Saudi Arabia based on the highest international standards”
Underlining and in recognition of its pro-active stance in the energy sector, SEC has recently been awarded two ISO certificates for complying with international standards of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 for Information Technology Service Management and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for Information Security Management. Intertek, a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide, presented the certificates, following up on two ISO certifications it awarded two years ago. These were bestowed for continuing to uphold global standards and expanding its scope across 68 different services within the SEC’s Information Technology and Digital Transformation.
Using the ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards helps organizations manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information entrusted to the company by third parties. An information security management system is a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information so that it remains secure. ISO/IEC 20000-1 promotes the adoption of a service management system to provide value and consistency for both the customer and the service provider. These certifications validate SEC’s focus on its customers through establishing international communication centers supported by new technologies that comply with global standards.
Waqas Ahmed, Area Manager for the Eastern Region at Intertek presented the award to Zaid A. Al-Jendel, Executive Director of SEC and the Senior Management team during a special ceremony held at SEC headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Speaking at the event, Zaid A. Al-Jendel said: “Information Technology and Digital Transformation are at the heart of many core activities that businesses and individuals conduct every day, and it is crucial for an industry leader like SEC to implement and maintain the highest international standards and to continue to enhance them. Our customers trust us for this continuous commitment and drive. Having these two certifications from Intertek demonstrate that we are steadfast about ensuring that we always implement best-in-class management system practices and provide high-quality services.”
Sandeep Vig, Director, Business Assurance – MENAP and India added: “SEC is committed to providing high-quality IT and communication services across Saudi Arabia based on the highest international standards. Getting certified for 68 services enables the company to manage its IT systems more efficiently while further mitigating any security risk to the business.”
Considering that energy usage increased by 60% in the ten years preceding 2019, diversifying the electricity mix is crucial
Continually Moving Forwards
SEC has transferred its entire stake in the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) to the Saudi government. SPPC is now an independent company wholly owned by the government, following completion of all legal arrangements for the sale and transfer of assets, liabilities, and contracts.
SPPC and SEC also signed energy conversion agreements, bulk supplies, and fuel supply innovations, all effective from 1 July. Alongside that, SEC, SPPC and the Ministry of Finance signed a fuel inventory sale agreement, which stipulates that the ministry shall pay SEC its net book value for the fuel inventory. The sale price shall be calculated based on the book value of SPPC’s net assets at the end of the second quarter of 2022. SEC does not expect the carve-out of SPPC to negatively impact its business since SPPC possesses no material tangible assets.
Finally, SEC has appointed Engineer Khalid Hamad Algnoon as its new CEO. An industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience working in diverse engineering and leadership positions, Algnoon had been the acting CEO since June 2021 when Fahad Al Sudairi stepped down from his post due to personal reasons. Algnoon has previously held several major positions, including Executive Director, Distribution and Customer Services in the Saudi Electricity Company.
SEC continues to set the pace in the energy sector, not least within the arena of solar power, and will remain a vital cog in the evolution and success of Saudi Arabia in the years ahead.