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Saudi Arabia: Growth in Transmission Network and Capacity [free access]

April 10, 2020

As of the end of 2019, Saudi Arabia’s transmission network comprised about 90,224 circuit km of line length at voltages of 110 kV to 380 kV. Saudi Arabia has four interconnections with the neighboring countries of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE through the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) interconnection project.

 

The majority of the network, or about 49 per cent of the total line length, comprises 110 kV to 132 kV transmission lines, while around 90 per cent of the network is made up of overhead lines. The country’s grid network increased at a CAGR of 7.24 per cent during 2015-19.

 

Table 1: Growth in Saudi Arabia’s transmission line length for 2015-19 (circuit km)

Voltage

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019E

132 kV/115 kV/110 kV

34,926

35,410

39,821

41,679

44,798

230 kV

4,488

4,249

4,388

4,220

4,220

380 kV

28,796

30,896

34,134

37,783

41,206

Total

68,210

70,555

78,343

83,682

90,224

Note: E-data for 2019 has been estimated based on average additions expected to take place during the year.

Source: ECRA; SEC; Global Transmission Research

 

Figure 1: Transmission network in 2015 and 2019, by voltage

 

Source: ECRA; SEC; Global Transmission Research

 

Saudi Arabia’s transformer capacity is estimated at 445,583 MVA as of 2019, increasing from 270,470 MVA in 2015 and registering a CAGR of 13.3 per cent during the period. The majority or about 67 per cent of transformer capacity additions during 2015-19 took place at the 380 kV voltage level. During the same period, about 352 substations were commissioned at voltages of 110 kV to 380 kV.

 

Table 2: Growth in Saudi Arabia’s transformer capacity for 2015-19 (MVA)

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019E

Transformer capacity

270,470

318,433

372,399

417,203

445,583

–132 kV/115 kV/110 kV

122,873

129,221

153,473

170,612

180,514

–230 kV

22,468

22,392

22,468

22,298

22,298

–380 kV

125,129

166,820

196,458

224,293

242,771

No. of substations

817

889

962

1083

1,169

Note: E-data for 2019 has been estimated based on average additions expected to take place during the year.

Source: ECRA; SEC; Global Transmission Research