General Electric (GE) has won an order for power generation equipment in excess of $500m that will enable the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to increase its output by 1,680 megawatt (MW), enabling it to meet summer peak demand.

The US company will provide steam and gas turbines, generators and auxiliary services to an expansion programme encompassing four power plants in the kingdom.

The SEC is fast-tracking the expansion to be able to meet the increased demand for electricity during the summer.

“These fast-tracked plant expansions are designed to meet peak summer demands,” said Ali Saleh Al Barrak, SEC’s president and chief executive officer in a statement.

The expansion will account for more than half of the SEC’s annual capacity increase of 3,000MW. According to SEC, the kingdom’s electricity demand has been growing at the rate of about 6 per cent a year.

The expansion programme will add 600MW to the power plant in Qurayyah, 480MW to the PP-10 plant south of Riyadh, 480MW to the plant at Qassim, and 120MW to a plant near Tabouk.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work for the expansions at Qurrayah, Qassim and PP10 will be undertaken by Arabian BEMCO, while Al-Toukhi Construction Group is the EPC contractor for the Tabuk expansion.