A consortium headed by France’s Kahrabel GDF Suez building the $2.1bn Riyadh IPP (independent power project) in Saudi Arabia has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract is being carried out by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and the gas turbines will be provided by General Electric from the US. The completion date is set for March 2013, although first power is expected in May 2012. SEC will be the sole off-taker of the power produced.

The project is a greenfield gas-fired plant that will have an output of 1,729 megawatts when it is fully completed in 2013.

SEC owns 50 per cent of the project through its subsidiary Dhuruma Electricity Company. The other 50 per cent is owned by Kahrabel GDF Suez that has a 20 per cent stake and Saudi Arabia’s Aljomaih Holding Company and Japan’s Sojitz Corporation who each have a 15 per cent stake.