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Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) was awarded a 25-year interest-free loan worth US$13.6 billion which will allow SEC to embark on emergency power generation projects this year and next year.

The loan will be used to finance 70 per cent of its projects according to Ali Saleh al-Barrak, SEC chief executive.

"The loan will be used to finance a number of strategic projects over the coming 5 to 6 years," Ali Saleh al-Barrak was quoted as saying by al-Arabiya TV.

Al-Barrak said that these projects would cost around US$60 billion and will see transmission lines added and additional generation capacity, which now stands at 48,000 MW as well as upgrading equipment and raising efficiencies.

SEC plans to boost capacity to at least 80,000 megawatts by 2020 and has started to implement a number of independent power producer (IPP) projects, for which the private sector will contribute roughly US$26.5 billion of the US$80 billion spending programme through 2018.

SEC has to add 1,826 MW in 2011 and will add 12,752 MW of power from 2012 to 2016 as it seeks to meet the kingdoms power demand which is set to rise seven to eight per cent annually.

The Turkish energy company Lanka has started constructing five new power plants in the Hamam al-Aleel district and Albu Saif village, 20 km south of Mosul.

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