JEDDAH (Rahnuma) : The Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) started operating the “Waad Al-Shamal” plant, which partially depends on solar power to generate electricity, as part of its efforts to support economic and development projects and industrial areas through out the Kingdom.
SEC Chief Executive Ziad bin Mohammed Al-Shiha confirmed that the new power plant, which operates on natural gas as essential fuel, is within the company’s comprehensive strategy for advanced electricity projects.
It takes into account the region’s environmental conditions, reduces thermionic emissions and fuel consumption while providing for the needs of the industrial city, in addition to supporting the Kingdom going in the direction of renewable energy.
Al-Shiha said that the SEC has invested more than SR3.75 billion ($1 billion) in the power plant that is equipped with mirrors that generate electricity using solar power.
It has also invested in establishing transfer stations, air- and ground-based transmission lines to supply Waad Al-Shamal and its industrial projects with electric power to promote and complete the electrical network in the north of the Kingdom and complete linking all electrical networks in the Kingdom.
The new power plant relies on the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, modern gas unit technologies that contribute to reducing carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions (therefore reducing pollution), increasing efficiency and producing 50 megawatts of electric power through concentrated solar power.
The company also strives to save four million barrels of equivalent fuel during its operation.
The CEO said: “The execution of the power plant started in April 2014, after signing contracts to supply, install, test and operate four generators with a total capacity of 1,204 MVA, 61 dividers, two capacitors and a reactor.
“The company signed a contract with an international company to create the plant in December 2015, with a total capacity of 1,390 megawatts.”
On the support of the mining industry in the Kingdom, Al-Shiha confirmed that the electrical projects in the area will contribute to developing the northern border area, where tremendous reserves of crude phosphate abound, in addition to different types of ore which provide an opportunity to establish quarries and manufacturing industries and reinforce the Kingdom’s role in the mining industry internationally.
He also said that the new power plant will play a strategic role in linking the region with Egypt and Europe in the future.
The Waad Al-Shamal power plant includes the first locally made turbine by General Electric.