By Andy Sambidge
General Electric to supply state utility with 13 gas turbines for expansion of power projects
General Electric (GE) on Monday said it has signed contracts totalling almost $300m with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to supply 13 gas turbines and associated services for the expansion of six power plants in the kingdom.
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, GE said in a statement.
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 statement added.
"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 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 turbines and associated generators, GE will also provide technical advisory services and performance testing.
"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.
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, US, and will be delivered to the various sites during the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.
Commercial operations are slated to begin in May 2013, GE added.
With nearly 80 years of experience and 800 employees in Saudi Arabia, GE has expanded its energy presence in the kingdom.
In June, GE inaugurated its newest technology centre in Dammam. The $250m facility consists of an advanced service technology centre, a training centre as well as a high technology manufacturing hub.