Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has invited expressions of interest to developers to build an independent power project (IPP) at Rabigh, on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The winning bidder will build, own and operate the steam powered IPP, which will be fuelled by heavy fuel oil (HFO) and will have a capacity of around 1,700MW.

The project company, which will be formed by SEC and the successful developer, will sell its entire capacity and output to SEC under a power purchase agreement (PPA). Under the PPA, SEC will also supply HFO and allocate the land for the project.

Expressions of interest are to be submitted by 21 March. The US’ Citigroup is advising SEC on the project. The project, which will be SEC’s fourth in its IPP programme, is to enter operations by 2017.

The project will be the second power project at the site in Rabigh and will be constructed next to the existing facility. Rabigh Electricity Company (RABEC) is the owner of Saudi Arabia’s first IPP, which was developed by the local Acwa Power.

Once SEC has tendered contracts for the new IPP at Rabigh it will tender another project, also with a capacity of 1,700MW, at Bi’r Ad Dibba on Saudi Arabia’s western coast between Jeddah and Jizan. The Bi’r Ad Dibba IPP will be tendered in 2013 to meet an operational date of 2018.