First Saudi-made gas turbine goes into operation at new power plant

The plant, costing over SR3.75 billion, has a total capacity of 1,390 megawatt (MW) electricity, of which 50 MW will come from a solar component

GE 9E gas turbine
GE 9E gas turbine

The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has started operating a combined cycle power plant in Waad al-Shamal Mining City, located south of Turaif in the Northern Border Region.

The plant includes also a gas turbine, first locally-manufactured by General Electric which helps bringing modern technology into Saudi Arabia, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.

The plant, costing over SR3.75 billion, has a total capacity of 1,390 megawatt (MW) electricity, of which 50 MW will come from a solar component.

The Company’s CEO Ziyad al-Shiha explained the plant works on natural gas as a main fuel and is part of SEC’s integrated strategy for implementing advanced electric projects that takes into account environmental conditions of the region as well as reduction of thermal emissions with providing fuel while meeting the energy needs of the industrial city.

In a statement issued, Shiha indicated that SEC has invested more than SR3.75 billion in the solar power generating plant with solar powered mirrors. It has also invested in the construction of transmission stations and transmission lines to supply the mining city and its industrial projects with electricity.

The new plant adopts the integrated composite cycle system (ISCCP) and modern gas turbine techniques that reduce carbon emissions and nitrogen oxides to reduce environmental pollution, increase efficiency and produce 50 megawatts of electricity through the concentrated solar power (CSP).

The CEO said that the plant project started implementing in April 2014 after the contracts had been signed after installing, testing, and operating 4 generators and other equipment.

In December 2015, SEC awarded General Electric the $980 million contract for the engineering, construction and provision of gas turbine services for the plant, reported Asharq Al-Awsat.

In line with the provisions of the deal, one of the gas turbines was assembled fully at the GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam. Shiha said the plant, with one locally manufactured gas turbine, would have a significant contribution to localization of the electric power industry.He indicated that the plant is a major boost in supporting Saudi Arabia’s focus on renewable energy and creating jobs for Saudis.

It was implemented as part of the company’s strategy to be in tune with the Vision 2030. The plant will enhance the Kingdom’s status as the biggest facility in the Middle East and North Africa region for providing electricity.


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