Saudi Electricity Company produces electricity using different resources including non-renewable natural resources. The ever-increasing demand for electricity means exhaustion of these resources, increased pollution as a result of burning fuels​, using different types of oils, in addition to generating wastes from the Company’s various operations; a situation making us face a major challenge and pushing us to double our efforts and responsibility toward environmental protection.

In this context, the Company has developed and published its environmental policy with the aim of preserving the environment and public health and supporting sustainable development with a commitment to national and international environmental standards. It also formed a technical team representing all activities of the Company and developed an implementation plan including objectives, scheduled programs, tasks and responsibilities in order to activate this policy and translate it into reality, which resulted in :

Reducing Air Pollution :

It is well known that power generating plants burn fuel to produce electricity and release air-polluting gases and pollutants through the chimneys of power generating units. In this respect, the Company is highly aware of the need to build power generating plants outside of cities and communities, and to avoid building them in areas congested with factories and other facilities, so as not to contribute to increasing rates of air-pollution in those places. To reduce pollution, we have been :

- Using clean fuel such as natural gas and diesel, as they contain lower levels of toxic pollutants. In this respect, we have achieved outstanding successes as most of the plants use natural gas for power generation. Also, huge funds were spent to modify the generation units in Power Plants 7,8 and 9 in Riyadh, which were previously operated by using fossil fuel and are now operating on natural fuel.

- Using the advanced Dry Low NOx (DLN)​ combustion system which produces lower ratios of nitrogen oxide in the gas turbines, as nitrogen oxide is among the major pollutants in power plants using fossil fuel. Application of DLN combustion system has been effective in environmental protection.

- Using Electrostatic Precipitators in units operated by heavy fuel to reduce the emission of suspended residues.

- Using Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) technology to reduce the emission of air-contaminating sulfur dioxide. In this concern, the Company did not hesitate to invest billions in this field in its new projects.

- Using combined-cycle generating units which use the waste heat emitted from exhaust pipes of gas turbines to supply steam to steam turbines, which generates extra power,​ instead of burning fuel.

- Executing final stages of the electrical interconnection between the regions of the Kingdom’s which contributed to the reduction of the revolving reserve in the network, and subsequently reduced air pollution caused by burning more fossil fuels.

- Stopping the use of certain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and health such as Freon 12, Methane Trilateral Chloride, Halen and Asbestos, and replacing them with harmless substance.

- Reducing fuel consumption of Company's vehicles by 5%.

- Committing to use harmless pesticides.

- Stopping the use of diesel cranes in warehouses and replace them with electric cranes when needed.

- Following up concentrations of emissions from generation plants by means of updating the environmental records.

Reducing Water Pollution :

Water pollution, especially with limited resources, is one of the main environmental problems and challenges in the Kingdom and we, in the Company, are working to limit the water pollution through our activities and operations as follows :

- Not adding any chemical materials to cooling water drained back to the sea, except chlorine which is added to control the growth of water organisms harmful to plant’s equipment. However, we control the addition of chlorine so as not to exceed the allowed ratios in accordance with the environmental protection standards in the Kingdom, by using devices for measuring chlorine's of concentrations in water permanently to enable operators to control these proportions.

- Treating wastewater from boilers and separating fuel residues from the water tanks prior to sending it to the evaporation ponds.

- Controlling the degree of cooling water drained into the sea, within the allowed limits.

- Utilizing sanitary water, after being biologically treated for irrigation purposes to increase the green coverage within the area of power plants and associated residential quarters, while reducing the use of potable water.

- Drawdown of fuel and oil residues through contracts with qualified companies to ensure non-pollution of the environment. Oil-contaminated water usually passes through several phases for separation of oil from water and disposing it via environmentally safe methods.

- Conducting marine surveys of coastal areas to assess the environmental influences of the electric power generation plants on water quality and marine sediments, as well as the biological diversity in the marine environment.

- Updating and applying the general emergency action plans to be able to properly handle environmental emergency situations.

Reducing Soil Contamination :

Considered one of the most prominent, complicated and difficult to solve problems of environment. Therefore, we are keen to use environmentally- friendly materials of various kinds for controlling soil contamination. In this respect, we have been successful in the following :

- Developing and applying programs to reduce spills, and leakages.

- Removing all power transformers that use oils containing carcinogenic substances such as PCB to ensure that no contamination is caused to the soil, surface water, and groundwater in order to secure the safety of humans, animals, and plants.

- Using SF6 to isolate gas in the electrical switches instead of oils, which contribute in reducing the possibilities of leakage, seepage, and subsequently water and soil pollution.

- Using dry cured XLPE cables instead of oil cables to reduce probability of leakage and contamination of water and soil.

- Replacing all the currently used insecticides with less harmful ones.

- Continuing the implementation of agreements with qualified contractors to get rid of petroleum and oil residues in generating plants in ways that will not cause harm to the environment.

- Constantly cooperating with local and international universities and research centers to create suitable solutions to the problem of carbonic ashes.

Reduction of Wastes :

The improper management of waste may cause harmful effects to public health and environment. In this context, the Company, represented by its environmental protection team, prepared a guide for waste management within the programs of the executive plan for environmental protection in the Company. Waste management will be undertaken through identification of procedures that must be used for safe handling of wastes throughout the different management stages, from accumulation to disposal stage.

Wastes are generated from several activities and operations of the Company, and often hazardous inputs are added to the waste in small amounts. These hazardous wastes are not separated from other non-hazardous waste, while being collected for transport and disposal, where adequate safety measures could be lacking; hence exposing employees to health risks and/or cause environmental pollution.

In this context, the Company began inventorying and classifying all types of wastes in the Company to develop a mechanism for safe disposal, in accordance with the General Environmental Regulations and Rules for Implementation. The following has been achieved in this regard :

- Safe disposal of all medical and municipal waste generated by the activities and operations of the Company through specialized contractors, with emphasis on storage in containers marked with distinguished colors, and located in designated places.

- Monitoring waste generation to ensure effective management from production to disposal to prevent the possibility of polluting groundwater resources and soil contamination.

- Reducing the amount of waste generated by the operations and activities of the company's and achieving tremendous success in the field of recycling and reuse.

- Continuing implementation of the agreements with qualified contractors for the safe disposal of petroleum waste and oil from power plants without harming the environment.

Environmental Health :

The Company is committed to preventing occurrence of diseases related to its activities, operations, and applications, as well as protecting the health of its workers, their families, and the public. Also, it provides support for the payment of treatment costs and for maintaining a healthy work environment through the following :

- Collecting and storing of medical waste of the Company in designated places marked with particular color, pending safe disposal by specialized contractors.

- Assessing the quality of water from the source to the network, to ensure it is free of biological and chemical contaminants and that it is safe to use. Water sources, such as wells or water distribution systems are subject to regular inspection to guarantee compliance with the national standards.

- Monitoring sewage and industrial water drainage systems in the Company’s facilities to ensure adherence to the measures of the General Regulations and Rules for Implementation for the protection of public health.

- Monitoring waste generation and disposal process to ensure effective management of waste and to avoid the possibility of polluting ground resources and soil contamination.

- Committing to reducing the negative effects of noise, emitted into urban areas from different activities of the Company, including power plants, transformers, etc​., and to bring the noise level within the international standards during the construction process.

- Installing power lines within safe routes in compliance with international specifications.

- Reduce occupational diseases.

- Safe removal of all wastes resulting from the activities and operations of SEC which weigh 13,349 tons.

- The safe disposal of all medical wastes from Company's sites, which weigh 7.7 tons/year.

Support Sustainable Development :

Meeting the current generation’s needs without jeopardizing the rights of future generations to natural resources is considered one of the most critical environmental challenges faced by the countries of the world in general and the Kingdom in particular.  In this regard, the Company has achieved numerous accomplishments in protecting and preserving natural resources through the following :

- Reducing electricity consumption in the Company's premises by 0.5%.

- Reducing Company's paper consumption by 1%.

- Improving procedures for receiving fuel and controlling its quality.

- Accomplishing advanced stages in the process of electrical interconnection between the regions of the Kingdom, a factor that will significantly contribute to reduction of energy loss.

- Using combined-cycle generating units, since these units use the waste heat emitted from exhaust pipes of the gas turbines as a heating source for boilers to produce steam instead of burning fuel.

- Separating fuel residues from drain water tanks prior to reusing the water.

- Using timer switches to switch off and switch lighting fixtures, air-conditioning units and computer systems outside working hours as well as replacing ordinary lighting and computer systems with energy-saving alternatives, and considering to secure natural light when creating building designs for the Company's facilities.​

- Using treated wastewater for irrigation instead of potable water.

- Using water conservation methods in the Company's water closets and facilities.

- Printing on both sides of the paper, and preventing color printing for internal correspondences of the Company.

- Conducting periodic maintenance of company's equipment and systems to maintain their utmost operational efficiency.

- Establishing a solar power plant at Farasan Island which generates 860 thousand KWH per annum.

- Establishing a power generating plant using combined-cycle units (Power Plant 10) which runs on treated sanitary water.

Environmental Awareness :

The Company organizes a variety of programs in order to enhance the level of environmental awareness and educate its staff and the public on the significance of the environment and why we are keen to care about them and maintain them. In this field, we have delivered many awareness programs through the following activities :

- Providing environmental awareness lectures, brochures, leaflets, and posters to reach everyone.

- Allocating a webpage dedicated to the environment in the Company's intranet.

- Publishing environmental slogans for enhancing awareness on the importance of maintaining the environment and conserving energy, water and materials.

- Providing specialized training courses in environmental protection, within the scope of the Company's training programs.

- Qualifying the concerned cadres and enabling them to attend training courses to obtain international certificates in the field of environmental protection.

- Cooperating with concerned parties from inside and outside the Kingdom, and getting​ involved in exchange experience with experts and specialists in the field of environmental protection through attendance and participation in environmental seminars and conferences.

- Training employees selected from various departments of the Company, on the application of the "Environmental Management System".

- Training employees selected from various departments of the Company, on the application of the "Waste Management System".

- Training employees selected from various departments of the Company, on assessing the "Environmental Consistency" program.

- Training employees selected from the various departments of the Company, on "Educating the Facilities Inspectors".

- Preparing and printing awareness booklets on the role of the Company in the environmental protection program called "Bee’atona" (Our Environment).

- Developing mechanisms to deliver lectures on environmental awareness and their contents.

- Preparing a Company guide for waste management.

Environmental Emergency situation:

In order to be at maximum readiness to respond in environmental emergency situations :

- Update the general emergency action plans to be able to properly handle environmental emergency situations.

- Prepare detailed response plans to radiological and nuclear emergencies across all power stations of the Company.​

The Company's Contributions :

The Company, in coordination with governmental organizations, participates in many activities aiming at preserving the environment in the Kingdom through the following :

- Participating in the development of national indicators for the environment and sustainable development.

- Participating in the formulation and updating national response plans to radiological and nuclear emergencies.

- Participating in developing and implementing the executive plans for protecting the environment in the city of Riyadh and attending the meetings of its higher and technical committees.

- Continuing coordination with the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental Protection and the General Control Bureau as regards protection of environment.

- Preparing the quarterly environmental reports and forwarding them to the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental Protection.

- Participation and sponsorship of environmental conferences and events locally and internationally.

- Participation and sponsorship of national clean-up campaigns in the cities and provinces of the Kingdom.

- Undertaking awareness campaign to reduce papers consumption within the Company entitled "Paperless Day".

Limiting Visual Pollution :

To maintain the aesthetic character of the Kingdom’s towns and improve the visual elements of the general landscapes in cities, the Company contributes to reduction of visual pollution through :

- Spending of huge funds to replace overhead lines network with underground cables. In this regard, the Company has an advantage over many advanced countries, which are still using the aerial networks within their towns.

- When designing its buildings, the Company takes into account highlighting the aesthetic aspect of its buildings as well as selecting the best sites for its buildings and facilities, especially in the customers’ reception buildings.

- Keeping 3% of the Company's property a green area.

- Participating in the national cleanup campaign in ​Riyadh city.