ABU DHABI, (Reuters) – Saudi Electricity Co is eyeing its first international bond issue in early 2011, a senior executive said on Wednesday, having completed a domestic Islamic bond sale earlier this month.
Ahmed Al Jogaiman, vice president for finance, said the next sukuk would be marketed internationally next year.
Electricity demand in top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is growing at an average of 7 percent per year due to a growing population and development of several projects particularly infrastructure by the government, Jogaiman said.
Demand is set to triple to 121,000 megawatts from current generation capacity of 40,000 MW, a top government official said earlier in May.
“At the rate demand is growing, capacity will have to double in the coming 10 years with a huge capex,” Jogaiman said.
The capex outlay for the next five years is 150 billion Saudi riyals ($40 billion), he said, adding that the funding will come from a mix including bonds and government funds.
Recently, SEC secured a 15 billion riyals soft government loan that would be used as capex for the coming two years, he said.
SEC has issued three sukuks so far, the first was for 5 billion riyals over five years in 2007 followed by 7 billion riyals in 2009 and 7 billion riyals this month.
Sukuks currently account for nearly half of SEC’s funding mix, the rest being banks financing, government funding and internal cash resources.
SEC is 81 percent owned by the government, while 19 percent is floated on the stock market.
Its total assets were 166 billion riyals and revenues totalling 23.9 billion riyals at end-2009.