RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: GE signed contracts totaling almost $300 million with the Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) to supply 13 gas turbines and associated services for the expansion of six power plants at various locations across the country. The expansions will add nearly 800 megawatts of power to the Saudi grid by the summer of 2013, in time to support peak electricity demands and reduce the risk of blackouts.
The new contracts bring the number of GE turbines delivered for SEC projects to nearly 200 turbines in the last five years. To date, GE power generation technology and services are supporting the generation of nearly half of Saudi Arabia’s electricity. The latest plant expansions support SEC’s plans to expand its power capabilities across Saudi Arabia, including remote areas of the Kingdom.
“The expansion projects are part of our overall strategy to add an average of 4,000 megawatts of power annually to the grid in Saudi Arabia as we continue to face a growing demand for reliable electricity,” said Eng. Ali Saleh Al Barrak, president and CEO for SEC. “We have been working with GE for more than 40 years, and the new contracts reflect our continued trust in GE’s power generation solutions and ability to respond to our technology requirements and meet compressed project schedules.”
In addition to supplying 13 Frame 7EA Gas Turbines and associated generators for the plant expansions, GE also will provide technical advisory services and performance testing, which are critical elements in ensuring that the equipment is successfully installed and running reliably to provide power to residents in remote areas. To further expand GE’s knowledge sharing initiative in the Kingdom, GE also will provide training for SEC engineers in the operation and maintenance of the gas turbines.
“We are very pleased to support SEC in their efforts to bring reliable electricity to rural regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Joseph Anis, president and CEO of GE Energy in the Middle East. “As the leading energy provider in Saudi Arabia, GE continues to deliver localized power generation solutions to our long-time customers such as SEC and provide technology transfer to the region through our advanced technical training and knowledge sharing initiatives.”
The six sites for the expansions are Wadi Al Dwasir, Tabuk, Qurrayat, Sharura, Ala-Wajh and Najran simple-cycle power plants. The gas turbines will be manufactured in GE’s factory in Greenville, S.C., and will be delivered to the various sites during the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, with commercial operation to begin in May 2013, in time to meet the summer peak demand.
With tens of millions of hours of service in many applications, the GE 7EA Gas Turbine allows for flexibility in power generation needs and fast, low-cost additions of incremental power. It can accommodate a wide range of fuels, from high hydrogen to residual containing “heavy fuel oil,” by utilizing advanced fuel handling equipment, power nozzles and bucket cooling, thermal barrier coatings and multiple-fuel combustion systems.
The latest SEC power plant expansions follow an announcement in May of this year that GE had received a contract of more than $500 million to supply equipment and services for plant expansions that will add 1,680 megawatts of new power capacity for the Kingdom.
With nearly 80 years of experience and 800 employees in Saudi Arabia, GE has expanded its energy presence in the Kingdom through knowledge-sharing initiatives and a strong footprint of facilities providing service repair support and customer training centers in the power, water and oil and gas sectors. In June, GE inaugurated its newest technology center in Dammam. The $250 million facility consists of three main components—an advanced service technology center, a training center offering the latest in technical and managerial training as well as a high technology manufacturing hub for energy equipment dedicated to the entire energy value chain.
To further strengthen the pool of Saudi technologists, GE signed a memorandum of understanding with the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) to expand the GE Joint Technical Program (GE JTP). The expanded GE JTP aims to train up to 100 Saudi students, selected from leading technical colleges across the Kingdom, annually.
GE also has established the GE Saudi Water and Process Technology Center and a manufacturing facility for heat exchangers in association with Ali A. Tamimi & Co. As part of its commitment to knowledge sharing, GE has established the GE Energy Fuel Research Center at the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals as well as several leadership development and cooperative learning programs with leading institutions.