Growth in electricity consumption in Saudi Arabia is likely to slow to 1.5 percent a year, down from previous expectations of 6 to 10 percent, the chief executive of Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) said on Wednesday.
"We have always been planning for 6 to 10 percent growth. Now I imagine for the future the growth will be 1.5 percent or less than 1.5 percent as we've seen over the past two years," Ziyad al-Shiha told Al Arabiya TV in an interview.
"There isn't more than modest growth in energy consumption," he said.
SEC shares sank 4.2 percent after the company reported a much bigger-than-expected 5.5 billion riyal ( USD 1.5 billion) loss for the fourth quarter of 2017, which it attributed to a shift to IFRS accounting standards.
Authorities have slowed the timeline for those reforms and other aspects of an austerity programme amid concerns about their impact on the private sector, but aim to push ahead with a new round of subsidy cuts in the first quarter of this year.
According to the most recent fiscal plan, announced in December, prices for residential, commercial and industrial electricity consumption will be 100 percent linked to international benchmark prices by 2025.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)