Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved a privatization programme that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The government has said it plans to raise about $200 billion through privatisation in the coming years as part of vision that seeks to wean the country away from oil – through reforms that aim to transform the economy of the world's top fossil fuel exporter, according to Saudi press agency.
Separately, the country wants to raise another $100 billion through the sale of a five per cent stake in Saudi Aramco.
"The privatisation programme aims to strengthen competition, raise the quality of services and economic development, improve the business environment, and remove obstacles that prevent the private sector from playing a bigger role in the kingdom's development," Economy Minister Mohammad Al Tuwaijri said in a statement.
The programme will target 14 public-private partnerships.
Saudi Arabia wants to privatize the national football league, flour mills at the General Silos, Flour Mills Organisation, some projects at the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp, some services in the transportation sector, and transform King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre into a non-profit organisation.
Meanwhile, in a further push to wean itself off oil, the Saudis have targetted 30 solar and wind projects worth about $50 billion.
The country's inaugural 400-MW wind project has received four bids with the kingdom likely to award the scheme late June — thus allowing the world’s largest oil exporter to incorporate more renewables into its grid to free up crude for export.
Acwa Power of Saudi Arabia, France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles, Italy’s Enel Green Power and France's Engie are the four bidders on the planned scheme at Dumat Al Jandal, in the northern Al Jouf region, according to a statement from the Saudi energy ministry’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office.