Italy's CESI wins Saudi power upgrade deal

Power systems firm to boost capacity on Riyadh-Makkah line; to prevent blackouts
Italy's CESI wins Saudi power upgrade deal
Electricity pylon
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 14 Nov 2012 05:28 PM

A unit of Milan-based Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano (CESI) said on Wednesday it had won a contract to help implement a power interconnection system between Riyadh and Makkah in Saudi Arabia.

CESI Middle East, a specialist in power systems technical consulting and testing, said it has signed an agreement with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).

The SEC mandate marks CESI Middle East's second project win in the kingdom in less than a month, the company said in a statement.

Matteo Codazzi, CEO of CESI, said: "We see ourselves as a long-term player in the Middle East region with the vision of supporting the successful development of its economies."

The new 800km power link will run between the Dharma and Bahra stations, thereby linking Riyadh and Makkah.

The high voltage direct current link will not only increase the capacity of local distribution networks, which frequently experience blackouts, but also provide a reliable back-up energy supply in emergency situations.

The contract comes as high energy demands have increased in various regions of the kingdom due to the establishment of large-scale industrial manufacturing plants.

Floris Schulze, managing director CESI Middle East, said: "This initiative delivers the solution to a real market need faced by the kingdom's central and western regions, which have recently experienced increased power outages and disturbances due to the growing high energy demand.

"In addition, this project will also have a positive impact on SEC's business, as this link will provide SEC with a back-up power system for emergency situations, while providing a reliable energy source at the lowest cost to consumers under normal circumstances."

CESI Middle East said it will be working in collaboration with Tractebel Engineering on this SEC project.

The Saudi government plans to create an additional 30,000MW of generation capacity as part of its plan to ramp up power generation capacity by twofold by 2030 to meet the demand created by a growing population.

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