Saudi Aramco has invited bids for the construction of a 2,400 megawatt (MW) power plant in Jizan, near a 400,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery which it is currently building, two industry sources said on Monday.
The plant will use integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology to convert vacuum residue fuel from the refinery into a synthetic gas, the state-run oil company said in a description of the project distributed at a signing ceremony for the refinery, which is due to come on line in 2016.
Bids are invited by mid-August and the gas produced is expected to help power Saudi Arabia's west coast cities.
"IGCC is one way of increasing the efficiency of the consumption of hydrocarbons, especially fuel oil, liquid fuels," Ahmad al-Khowaiter, a chief engineer at Aramco, told a power conference in Dammam on Monday.
"So that is what we are trying to do, move to newer technology that allows us to get the most value from those liquids."