Saudi Electricity taps GE for 600 MW integrated power plant

Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has selected General Electric (GE) to supply a 600 MW integrated solar combined-cycle power plant project set to be built in the country’s western Red Sea port of Duba.

The plant will primarily use gas turbines to generate energy but will employ an integrated Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) parabolic trough that will generate about 50 MW, according to SEC. The facility will generate the equivalent power needed to supply approximately 600,000 homes a year.

The project marks Saudi Arabia’s first integration of CSP in a combined cycle plant.

Known as Green Duba, the project is expected to be completed by 2018.

The project is designed to generate up to 550 MW from the combined cycle plant and 50 MW from the CSP installation.

In a statement cited by Thomson Reuters’ Dubai-based business news platform Zawya, SEC CEO Ziyad M. Alshiha said the area where the plant would be located was a "developing region with limited grid interconnection, so the additional power generated by the Green Duba project will be tremendously important in supporting growth."

Alshiha added that the plant’s solar capabilities supported the country’s fuel conservation and renewable technology initiatives.

Hisham Albahkali, GE’s president and CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, described the integration of solar power and the introduction of condensate fuel at the Green Duba project as "a true milestone for the Kingdom," adding that it supported the government’s vision "to promote energy sector efficiency with a focus on renewables."