By Andy Sambidge
Agreement with Saudi Electricity Company will add 2,000 megawatts to network.
GE Energy has signed a contract for nearly $1 billion to supply equipment for the Saudi Electricity Company’s (SEC) Riyadh Power Plant 10 (PP10) to add a further 2,000 megawatts of power.
The project, the latest in a series of GE contracts for SEC power projects, will deliver more than 30 Frame 7EA gas turbines to help support the region’s dynamic economic and population growth.
The PP10 project addresses energy shortages during the summer months and when completed, increases the power capacity in SEC’s Central Operating Area by 20 percent, helping to improve the reliability and delivery of power to SEC’s customers.
PP10 is the latest expansion at SEC’s Riyadh site, which currently has a total power output of 10,000 megawatts.
The PP10 agreement, which was booked in December 2008, brings GE’s orders for SEC projects to nearly $2.5 billion in the last three years. In the last five years, GE has received commitments to supply 115 gas turbines for SEC projects.
The GE Frame 7EA gas turbines for PP10 will be shipped to an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, with the first units scheduled to enter service in the first half of 2010, and the rest by 2011.
These units will bring the number of GE Frame 7EA gas turbines installed in the kingdom to more than 200.
“We have established a track record of delivering power generation solutions that are reliable, flexible and available to help meet energy demands, which has solidified our position as a leading supplier of gas turbines for Saudi Arabia,” said Joseph Anis, GE Energy’s Region Executive for the Middle East.
“The PP10 project builds upon the strong relationship with SEC that we have developed over the years. This also reflects our commitment to helping Saudi Arabia and the Middle East meet the region’s growing need for reliable power to support economic and infrastructure growth through innovative technology solutions and a growing local presence.”
Ali Saleh al-Barrak, president and CEO of Saudi Electricity Company, added: “Saudi Arabia is taking concerted efforts to prepare the electricity sector organisationally and structurally through public and private partnerships to meet the Kingdom’s demand for power, which is growing at an estimated eight percent per year.
"The government’s stated goal is to add 30 gigawatts of generating capacity to the electricity grid by 2020.”
Saudi Arabia is one of GE’s key growth areas, featuring a workforce of more than 600 employees — GE’s largest in the region — and offices in Jeddah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province as well as joint ventures in the fields of energy, healthcare and appliances.
GE’s current business portfolio in Saudi Arabia includes power and water, oil and gas, transportation and healthcare, in addition to new opportunities in financial services.
Last April, GE Energy announced the groundbreaking of its Power Technology Center, a new state-of-the-art service facility in Dammam. The technology center will add substantial capability to undertake advanced gas turbine repairs in reduced time cycles.
The Dammam facility illustrates GE Energy’s commitment to delivering innovation, advanced technology and quality services to customers in the Middle East.