(Removes HOLD tag)
KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco’s power generation capacity will exceed 12,000 megawatts by 2019, roughly double the level it will reach this year, its weekly magazine the Arabian Sun reported on Wednesday.
Saudi Aramco generates power both through third-party companies that operate and produce electricity and also through its own power assets.
Saudi Arabia has total installed capacity of 70,000 MW.
Aramco’s power capacity will hit 6,500 MW this year when its co-generation projects in Shaybah, Wasit, Abqaiq, Shedgum, Uthmaniyah, Hawiyah, and Ras Tanura are completed.
“By 2019, with the completion of the Jazan and Fadhili power plants, total capacity will surpass 12,000 MW,” it said.
Co-generation lowers carbon dioxide emissions and improves energy efficiency.
The Saudi Kingdom is working on a plan to raise efficiency and reduce liquid fuel burning and has launched a few projects using solar energy.
“Together with the inclusion of renewables and other sources of power, fuel efficiency in the utility sector is expected to increase to 45 percent, saving about 600,000 bpd (barrels per day) of liquid fuels by 2030,” the magazine reported.
Some of the Gulf oil exporters have begun trying to use renewable fuels and improve efficiency in generation projects to meet rapidly rising domestic demand for electricity because their oil-fired power stations threaten to eat up a growing share of oil available for export.
In Abqaiq, a joint venture cogeneration plant — owned by Aramco and a consortium of Japanese and Saudi companies — is expected to start commercial operation in the third quarter of 2016.
It will provide 363 MW of power and 1.2 million pounds of steam per hour to support the critical oil supply operations at Abqaiq, Aramco’s largest oil processing facility, the magazine added. (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Katharine Houreld)