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The epidemic known as the 'Rift Valley Feverí is completely under control.

18th September, 2000
The Minister of Health briefed the weekly cabinet meeting held at Al-Salam palace in Jeddah. on the latest developments of the health situation in Jizan, south west of Saudi Arabia, and reported that the epidemic known as the 'rift valley feverí that hit the region over the last few days was completely under control. The Minister told the cabinet that the authorities concerned, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, were exerting great efforts to expedite the elimination of this disease.
 
Source: SPA compiled by Saudia-Online staff

Electricity generation registers 18-fold rise in 25 years

17th September, 2000

 

The total electricity generation capacity of electricity companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has registered an 18-fold rise, accounting for 20,647 megawatts, in nearly 25 years and showing a rate of annual increase of 13.7 per cent.

This is disclosed in statistics prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Electricity for a period from 1395AH to 1419AH.

The available capacity of some desalination plants in the Kingdom was utilized to produce 2,271 megawatts in 1419AH. Since almost all economic sectors need the flexibility of electric power to boost productivity and living standards, and to minimize environmental pollution, the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al Saud has devoted every effort to make electricity available in all regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as quickly as possible.

The number of subscribers in the same year increased to more than 3,371,000 subscribers, increasing more than 10 folds over 1395AH, with an annual rate of increase of 10.6 per cent.

Saudis make up 69.1 per cent of the 28,785 people employed in the electricity sector.

By the end of 1419AH the length of electric power transmission lines in the Kingdom totaled about 17,000 kilometers and the length of distribution networks accounted for more than 103,000kms. In addition, the lengths of lines delivering low voltage power to subscribers was about 106,000kms. The Ministry's statistics showed that the number of cities, provinces and centers having electricity totaled more than 7,083 by 1419AH.

The total electric power production sold in the Kingdom in 1419AH was about 105 million megawatts/hour, with a rate of increase of 8.8 per cent over the previous year.

The Industry and Electricity Ministry also established several training centers affiliated to the Electricity Company to attract young Saudis to train them to work in the electricity sector and to further develop indigenous manpower.

As part of qualitative improvements, there has been a trend toward using high capacity steam plants to meet the rising electricity demand. The first steam plant in the Kingdom in Ghazlan, Eastern region, became operational in 1400AH. It has four units. The capacity of each is 400 megawatts.

Currently, the second Ghazlan power steam plant is being built. It has four units. The capacity of each is 600 megawatts. It is expected to be completed in 1422AH.

The Rabigh steam plant was completed in 1406AH. It has four units. The capacity of each is 260 megawatts.

At the end of 1409AH, the Alqariah steam plant in the eastern province was operational. It also has four units, each of which has a capacity of 600 megawatts.

The ninth electric generation plant in Riyadh, the Central region, is being constructed. It will have a total capacity of 1200 megawatts. Completion is expected in 1422AH.

Source: SPA

Financial institutions play major role in the development process

17th September, 2000
  
The Kingdom's financial institutions have offered a total of SR263 billion to citizens and have made a great and direct contribution to in its rapid development in various sectors, especially in agriculture, industry and construction.

In recognition of the important role of the citizens in the developmental process, the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz has instituted various programs to support the citizens. This support, in its various forms (subsidies and soft non-interest loans) has been provided by financial institutions such as the Agricultural Bank, the Credit Bank, the Real Estate Development Bank, the Industrial Development Fund and the Public Investment Fund.

The Real Estate Development Fund: the Fund was founded in 1395AH with a capital of SR250 million to encourage citizens to construct private housing and make investment. The fund had provided loans totaling SR116,728 million for building 545,006 housing units since its foundation until 1419/1420AH as well as investment loans with a sum of more than SR5 billion.

Industrial Development Fund: the fund was established in 1394AH with a capital of SR500 million to provide loans to new industries and to expand existing ones. The fund offered loans totaling more than SR35 billion since its establishment until 1418/1419AH. The fund offers administrative, financial, technical and marketing consultations for the projects that it finances.

The Agricultural Bank: the Agricultural Bank is one of the major factors in agricultural development through its encouragement of farmers in the use of modern technology. It was set up in 1382AH and today has more than 70 branches and offices in the Kingdom.

The bank had provided loans totaling SR30.5 billion from its foundation until 1418/1419AH, as well as subsidies with a sum of more than SR11billion.

The Saudi Credit Bank: the bank was set up in 1391AH to provide loans to citizens who have limited incomes for helping young Saudis wishing to marry or lending to those who wish to repair their houses or work in vocational jobs. The bank had provided loans amounting to more than SR6 billion.

The Public Investment Fund: the fund was set up in 1391AH to assist manufacturing projects of commercial character. It has provided loans worth SR58 billion to public establishments and national companies.

Source: SPA

Agricultural areas are doubled in the Kingdom

17th September, 2000
  
The cultivated areas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have doubled over the last two decades. The figures for 1418AH show that there are now more than 4,885,000 hectares under cultivation, and a further 53 million hectares that could be prepared for cultivation

The reports released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water attributed the achievements in the agricultural field to the wise policy adopted by Saudi officials. The Saudi government has been providing the farmers with incentives including interest-free soft loans. Despite the scarcity of water in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi officials have shown determination to develop the agricultural sector. Economic observers have noted that the Saudi experience in agriculture is unique of its kind and it has been appreciated by the agricultural organizations.

In terms of livestock, in 1997 there were, in the Kingdom some 280,000 cows, 15.5 million of cattle and 790,000 camels. The Kingdom's dairy production amounted to 816,000 ton; its production of red meat amounted to 157,000 ton; and 54,000 ton of fish.

Recognizing the importance of water, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water has set up 187 dams with a storage capacity of about 777 million cubic meters. Building these dams cost about SR three billion. Thirteen new dams are currently under construction, while arrangements are underway for the implementation of an additional 12 dams.

In recognition of the agricultural development accomplished in the Kingdom, the World Food Organization (FAO) awarded Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz the medal of Agricula. The Kingdom was also awarded a Merit Certificate from FAO. Thanks to the wise agricultural policy, the Kingdom, which was a wheat importing country, has become a wheat exporting country. The Kingdom is keen to achieve a balance between food security and water security in a manner that paves the way for diversification of the productive base.

By the end of 1997, the area allocated for production of cereals and fodder amounted to about 955,000 hectares, while the area allocated for vegetables amounted to about 162,000 hectares in the same year. In 1997, the Kingdom produced about 2,600,000 ton of fresh vegetables including tomatoes, water million, potatoes and cucumbers. The Kingdom's production of fruits exceeded 1,150,000 ton, while its production of dates amounted to 650,000 ton in 1997. Its poultry production amounted to 451,000 ton in 1997, while the production of eggs amounted to 2.39 billion in the same year.

Source: SPA

Watani project to be launched Saturday

19th September, 2000
 
An ambitious project to introduce computers to the Kingdom's public schools will be launched on Saturday. The Watani project, initiated by Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard, is aimed at helping Saudi students cope up with modern technology. Once the project is completed there will be one computer for every 10 students in the Kingdom, a Press statement said. The schools will be linked with a national network.

Source: SPA

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 June 28, 2001 15:46:29