• Integrated power plant will have a combined-cycle capacity of 3,600MW and will contain a 180MW solar component
  • Project will be located in the Medina province in the western region of the kingdom
  • Scheme is being procured using the same model employed for Duba 1

State utility Saudi Electricity Company(SEC) is moving ahead with plans to build a 3,780MW integrated solar and combined-cycle power plant (ISCC) in Taiba in the western Medina region of the kingdom.

The plant will contain a combined-cycle capacity of 3,600MW as well as a 180MW solar component. The plant will be one of the largest generation facilities in the kingdom, and will cost upwards of $3bn to build.

According to sources in the kingdom’s power sector, SEC is going to procure and tender the project using the same model as it employed for the Duba 1 ISCC, which is currently under bid negotiation.

For the Duba 1 scheme, SEC tendered two main contracts, one for the power block (under an original equipment manufacturer [OEM] contract) and the other for the EPC contract, which contains balance of plant procurement.

For the Taiba plant, OEM firms have already started working on submissions, and for the main EPC contract, contractors have been invited to purchase tender documents before the end of September.

The submission date for technical proposals is likely to be in late December, with commercial prices due in 2016.

The Taiba project will be the third ISCC that SEC has moved forward with on the procurement process. In July, the utility received bids for the Duba 1 ISCC and the Waad al-Shamal ISCC, both of which are on a much smaller scale than the planned Taiba facility.

The Duba 1 project will have a combined-cycle capacity of 485-550MW and a solar component of 40-50MW. The Waad al-Shamal scheme will have a combined-cycle capacity of 1,000MW and a solar component of 50MW.

MEED recently reported that SEC had considered dropping solar from both projects due to the extra costs. However, the utility has decided to try and progress with the schemes as planned. For the Duba project, the client is currently in negotiations with the low bidder, Spain’s Initec Energia, and for the Waad al-Shamal project, the two lowest bidders submitted fresh prices last week in an attempt to reduce costs.

The power projects are part of the kingdom’s efforts to ensure capacity keeps up with the rapidly growing demand. Despite the sharp rise in investment in the sector in recent years, Riyadh faces a stiff challenge to meet future power demand from an expanding economy and a population that has one of the highest per capita electricity consumption rates in the world.

According to the latest forecasts by the kingdom’s Electricity & Cogeneration Regulatory Authority, peak demand will climb to 75,000MW in 2020, from the 54,000MW recorded in 2014, and to 123,000MW by 2032, based on an average population growth rate of 4.5-5 per cent a year.

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