The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has started operating a combined cycle power plant in the Waad Al-Shamal Mining City, located south of Turaif in the Northern Border Region. The plant, costing over SR3.75 billion, has a total capacity of 1,390 megawatt (MW) electricity, of which 50 MW will come from the concentrated solar power plant.
Ziyad Al-Shiha, CEO of the company, said the plant is a major boost in supporting the Kingdom’s focus on renewable energy and creating jobs for Saudis. It was implemented as part of the company’s strategy to be in tune with the Vision 2030. The plant, which works on natural gas as a main fuel, is part of SEC’s integrated strategy for implementing advanced electric projects that takes into account environmental conditions of the region as well as reduction of thermal emissions with providing fuel while meeting the energy needs of the industrial city.
Al-Shiha said that the company has invested more than SR3.75 billion in the solar power generating plant with solar powered mirrors. It has also invested in the construction of transmission stations and transmission lines to supply the mining city and its industrial projects with electricity. The new plant adopts the integrated composite cycle system (ISCCP) and modern gas turbine techniques that reduce carbon emissions and nitrogen oxides to reduce environmental pollution, increase efficiency and produce 50 megawatts of electricity through the concentrated solar power (CSP). The plant also seeks to provide an equivalent of four million barrels of fuel during the period of its operation.
The SEC chief said that the plant project started implementing in April 2014 and the SEC had awarded in December 2015 General Electric (GE), the global power giant, the $980 million contract for the engineering, construction and provision of gas turbine services for the plant. In line with the provisions of the deal, one of the gas turbines was assembled fully at the GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam. He said the plant, with one locally manufactured gas turbine, would have a significant contribution to localization of the electric power industry.