Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has signed an agreement with the US’ GE for turbines to expand six power plants at various sites across the country. The contract is worth almost $300m.

The expansions will add nearly 800MW of power to the Saudi grid by the summer of 2013. The six sites for the expansions are Wadi al-Dwasir, Tabuk, Qurrayat, Sharura, Ala-Wajh and Najran simple-cycle power plants.

The gas turbines will be manufactured in GE’s factory in South Carolina, US and will be delivered to the various sites during the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, with commercial operation to begin in May 2013, in time to meet the summer peak demand.

The new contract brings the number of GE turbines delivered for SEC projects to nearly 200 turbines in the past five years.

“The expansion projects are part of our overall strategy to add an average of 4,000MW of power annually to the grid in Saudi Arabia as we continue to face a growing demand for reliable electricity,” says Ali Saleh al-Barrak, president and chief executive officer for SEC.