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Saudi grid expansion underway

Saudi Electric Company (SEC) has announced plans to increase the grid capacity in the Kingdom. An additional 2,900MW capacity will initially be added to the grid following a series of projects

Saudi Electric Company (SEC) has announced plans to increase the grid capacity in the Kingdom. An additional 2,900MW capacity will initially be added to the grid following a series of projects.

Works will include the installation of 15 gas turbine-generators for the Qurayyah Open Cycle Power Plant, a 1,907MW project in the Kingdom’s Eastern province. A second project will include the installation of four gas turbine-generators for the Faras Power Plant expansion, totalling 509MW.

The final project to be announced will involve the installation of four gas turbine-generators at the Riyadh Power Plant Number 8 Extension III, a simple cycle power plant in the Kingdom’s Central Province totalling 491MW.

Saudi Arabia’s demand for electricity is currently increasing at a rate of 7% or greater per year. The Kingdom’s Industry and Electricity Ministry estimates that up to 20GW of additional power generating capacity will be needed by 2019 to meet this rise in demand.

GE Energy will supply 23 F-Class gas turbines for the three projects under contracts valued at a total of US $950 million (AED3,489 million). In addition the firm will supply generator step-up transformers and main breakers, unit auxiliary transformers and ISO-phase busbars for each of the three plants and provide technical advisory services, on-site training and performance testing.

Initially the turbines will be used in simple-cycle, base-load operations. In addition the Qurayyah plant will have the option of being converted to combined-cycle in the future.

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