SEC signs contracts worth SR 6.3 bn to import cables

Updated 01 July 2013

SEC signs contracts worth SR 6.3 bn to import cables

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) yesterday signed contracts worth SR 6.3 billion with national firms to import cables required for boosting its power distribution network.
Ali bin Saleh Al-Barrak, CEO of the company, said SEC would give connections to more than 420,000 new subscribers every year. He said the cables are imported to install 36/13.8KV and 400V lines of the company’s supply network within 12 months.
“The import of cable will help SEC to construct new supply lines and renovate existing ones,” Al-Barrak said, adding that it would help ensure continuous power supply.
SEC’s electricity production rose by 8.8 percent to 207,000 gigawatt/hour in 2012 compared to the previous year, he said. The maximum load on the network rose by 7.4 percent to 51,939MW during the year.
“This demand has been met by increasing the company’s generation capacity by 5.7 percent every year reaching 44,371MW by the end of 2012,” said Al-Barrak.
According to the company’s annual report for 2012, electricity power demand in the Kingdom is growing at the rate of 8 percent while the number of subscribers grew by 6.2 percent to reach 6.7 million in 2012.
The company implemented a number of important projects last year at a total cost of SR 21.8 billion to meet the country’s growing electricity demand, the report said.
The company’s actual generating capacity rose by 2.8 percent to 43,083MW in 2012 while available capacity rose by 4.8 percent to 53,588MW. Total length of the distribution network reached 51,881 km while 69/13.8KV network reached 221,845 km.
Total sold power reached 240,288 gigawatt/hour, with an increase of 9.4 percent compared to the previous year.
During the year, the company added 2,039MW to its network by opening 30 new gas turbine units at existing plants. The company’s plan to the link the power network in different parts of the Kingdom with a single grid has been completed by 96 percent, SEC said.
The year 2012 also witnessed the launch of 30 new transformers and giving connections to 414,000 new subscribers and 194 housing complexes. “SEC intends to increase the generating capacity of existing plants by 50 percent,” the report pointed out.
SEC plans to spend $ 80 billion over the next 10 years to meet Saudi Arabia's rising demand for electricity. The country needs in excess of 30,000MW extra capacity by the year 2020. SEC plans to add approximately 4,000MW over the next 12 months, with another 8,000MW by 2014, to raise the total installed capacity in the Kingdom to 95,000MW by 2020.
The company is also trying to supplement its supply with solar energy. The government has already announced plans to invest SR 408.75 billion to produce 41GW of solar energy by 2032.
SEC employs more than 29,000 and 87.58 percent of them are Saudis. As a result of its strong credit rating, SEC received a loan of SR 5.25 billion from the Export-Import Bank of Korea. The company has issued an international sukuk of SR 6.6 billion.


New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

Updated 26 May 2020

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

  • Scandal has already cost firm more than €30 billion; ruling serves as template for about 60,000 cases

KARLSRUHE, Germany: Volkswagen must pay compensation to owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines in Germany, a court ruled on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the automaker almost 5 years after its emissions scandal erupted.

The ruling by Germany’s highest court for civil disputes, which will allow owners to return vehicles for a partial refund of the purchase price, serves as a template for about 60,000 lawsuits that are still pending with lower German courts.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to cheating in emissions tests on diesel engines, a scandal which has already cost it more than €30 billion ($33 billion) in regulatory fines and vehicle refits, mostly in the US.

US authorities banned the affected cars after the cheat software was discovered, triggering claims for compensation.

But in Europe vehicles remained on the roads, leading Volkswagen to argue compensation claims there were without merit. European authorities instead forced the company to update its engine control software and fined it for fraud and administrative lapses.

Volkswagen said on Monday it would work urgently with motorists on an agreement that would see them hold on to the vehicles for a one-off compensation payment.

It did not give an estimate of how much the ruling by the German federal court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), might cost it.

Volkswagen shares were 0.5 percent lower. The BGH’s presiding judge had signaled earlier this month he saw grounds for compensation.

Costs mount

“The verdict by the BGH draws a final line. It creates clarity on the BGH’s views on the underlying questions in the diesel proceedings for most of the 60,000 cases still pending,” Volkswagen said.

A lower court in the city of Koblenz had previously ruled the owner of a VW Sharan minivan had suffered pre-meditated damage, entitling him to reimbursement minus a discount for the mileage the motorist had already
benefited from.

The court at the time said he should be awarded €25,600 for the used-car purchase he made for €31,500 in 2014.

“We have in principle confirmed the verdict from the Koblenz upper regional court,” said BGH presiding federal judge Stephan Seiters.

Volkswagen had petitioned for the ruling to be quashed altogether by the higher court, while the plaintiff had appealed to have the deduction removed.

A Volkswagen spokesman said that outside Germany, more than 100,000 claims for damages were still pending, of which 90,000 cases were in Britain.

The carmaker also said it had paid out a total of €750 million to more than 200,000 separate claimants in Germany who had opted against individual claims and instead joined a class action lawsuit brought by a German consumer group.

The carmaker said last month it would set aside a total of 830 million for that deal.

In a separate court, Volkswagen agreed last week to pay €9 million to end proceedings against its chairman and chief executive, who were accused of withholding market-moving information before the emissions scandal came to light.