South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has won the $3.2bn contract to build the Jeddah South thermal power plant in Saudi Arabia.

HHI signed the contract with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) on 15 October. The client had received technical bids in April and commercial submissions in September.  Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will supply the equipment for the 2,640MW oil-fired plant.

Hyundai will carry out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) plant on a turnkey basis. The plant will comprise four conventional thermal generating units, each with a minimum capacity of 600MW. The contractor will also be responsible for constructing a 380kV substation to serve the project.

To win the contract, HHI saw off competition from firms that included South Korea’s Daelim, South Korea’s Samsung C&T and a consortium that included Germany’s Siemens, Japan’s Marubeni and Turkey’s Gama.

The Jeddah South plant is scheduled for completion by 2017. When operational, the power plant will be able to produce enough electricity for 2 million people, the equivalent of 5 per cent of the kingdom’s entire power generation capacity.

The Jeddah South project is part of an ambitious programme to add generating capacity to the grid to keep pace with rapidly rising demand for power in the kingdom. By 2021, peak demand is forecasted to reach 87.76GW. SEC is planning to have 131.63GW of capacity commissioned by the same year.

SEC currently has 50.9GW of power generating capacity online. This includes 14GW of steam powered capacity, 6GW of combined cycle power, 21.8GW of simple cycle power and 175MW of diesel-power. Non-SEC power generating capacity adds a further 8.9GW.

Contractors are currently working on submissions for SEC’s Rabigh 2 independent power project (IPP). The submission date for the tender is 21 October. Rabigh 2 IPP, planned as a 1,700MW supercritical plant, will be built on a build-own-operate basis and will use heavy fuel oil (HFO).