ECRA: Power generation and transmission projects need SR526bn

Updated 11 July 2014

ECRA: Power generation and transmission projects need SR526bn

A whopping sum of SR 526 billion is needed for the implementation of power generation, transmission and distribution projects, local media said quoting a report released by the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA).
Based on a study on the estimated cost of electricity services during 1430-1441H, power generation will cost SR335 billion, or 63.7 percent of the overall costs, transmission SR121 billion (23 percent) and distribution SR70 billion (13.3 percent), the report said.
According to the estimates, the maximum power load will reach 71.940 GW by the year 1441 whereas the generating reserve will hit 15 percent, the report said.
In the fiscal year 1434-1435, a number of contracts were signed for the implementation of electric projects costing nearly SR 46 billion of which SR14.8 billion was allocated for generation projects, SR22.5 billion for transmission and SR8.5 billion for distribution projects, Al-Eqtisadiah daily said.
The volume of works and investments needed for electricity industry up to 1441 represents attractive opportunities to the private sector, according to the ECRA report.
The private sector companies could avail opportunities to implement independent projects for power generation, water desalination, construction, operation or lease of power transmission lines, management of current facilities, or provision of services to customers, the report added.
The report said ECRA pursues to select the best options in a manner to serve the interests of the Kingdom in coordination with the Ministry of Water and Electricity, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and other investors relevant to this area.

Economists fear a US recession in 2021

Updated 30 min 55 sec ago

Economists fear a US recession in 2021

  • Trump’s higher budget deficits ‘might dampen the economy’

WASHINGTON: A number of US business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the US by the end of 2021.

Thirty-four percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. 

That’s up from 25 percent in a survey taken in February. Only 2 percent of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, while 38 percent predict that it will occur in 2020.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession.” A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key US trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada. 

Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But US trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the US and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60 percent of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the US buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a US recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of US-China trade negotiations. Only 5 percent predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64 percent suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25 percent expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1. That was before the White House announced 10 percent tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. US retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.