Giant of Middle East delivers 5.6 GW to grid
Global power company Alstom today announced the successful completion of the handover of the 1.2 GW Shoaiba III steam power plant to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), following timely completion of the project's final unit. Shoaiba III will be instrumental in helping Saudi Arabia meet the rising demands for electricity across the Kingdom as its economy expands through industrialisation and urbanisation.
Comprising three individual 400 MW blocks, the Shoaiba III plant began in September 2008 and has been built around Alstom's proven STF40 steam turbines and GIGATOP 2-pole turbogenerators. To meet stringent Saudi environmental regulations, it also utilises Alstom's environmental control systems expertise. A seawater flue gas desulphurisation (SWFGD) system drastically cuts emissions by using brine to strip sulphur oxides from the flue gas, whilst NOx-reducing tangential firing technology employed in the boilers mitigates nitrogen oxides – both helping make Shoaiba III a cleaner electricity provider. Finally, the latest ALSPA power control systems ensure efficient management of the plant, so that it can meet the varying demands placed on the grid in a region, which includes the Holy City of Mecca.
Located on the Red Sea coast 100 km south of Jeddah, Shoaiba III is part of the enormous Shoaiba facility, which now generates a total of 5,600 megawatts to the Saudi grid from its fourteen units. Not just the largest power plant in the Kingdom but also the biggest in the whole region, Shoaiba has become known as 'the Giant of the Middle East'. It follows thirteen years of well-coordinated hard work between top teams from Alstom and SEC, cementing the close relationship between the two organisations and demonstrating the high standards that can be achieved with the full support of both companies' senior managements.
An Alstom-led consortium, with strong support from locally-based contractor Saudi Archirodon executed the three-stage Shoaiba project on a turnkey basis, with the company designing, supplying, installing and commissioning all aspects of the complex. The first contract was signed in 1998, and the initial phase of work on Shoaiba I was completed in August 2002 with three units entering commercial operation a total of 107 days ahead of schedule. An impressive series of similar achievements followed with all of the project's stages - Shoaiba I, II and III - delivered ahead of schedule, and twelve out of fourteen units completed early.
To achieve the timely completion of Shoiaba III took a well-coordinated, cross-continental workforce, working around the clock. The specific climate and seasonal challenges of the project - such as extremely hot summers, high humidity and large surges in demand during the Holy month of Ramadan - meant that Alstom's ability to respond to the needs of SEC throughout the execution was essential.
"This success is the result of the strong execution capabilities of Alstom, the proactive coordination of all Alstom manufacturing sites, as well as third party suppliers around the world, all of whom contributed to this excellent achievement," says Andreas Lusch, Senior Vice President of Alstom's Steam Business. "Most of all, Shoaiba III has benefited from the excellent and constructive cooperation of the project teams of both SEC and Alstom working together."
This is a sentiment echoed by Mr Ali Saleh Al-Barrak, President and CEO of the Saudi Electricity Company: “I am delighted with the execution of this important project, which is so crucial for the development of the Saudi economy. Alstom has demonstrated itself to be an excellent partner, and fully sensitive to our requirements. Shoaiba III stands testament to a relationship based on the mutual trust and understanding we have together built up over many years.”
Sapna Lalwani (Alstom Thermal Power) +41 79 4863798