Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has said that it will tender a contract to build a power project at Jizan, in the south of the country.

According to SEC’s executive vice president for generation, Fouad Alsherebi, the project will have a capacity of 2,600MW and will be steam-powered. It will be built on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis and is scheduled for commissioning in 2016.

Expressions of interest from contractors will be invited in the first or second quarter of 2012, with the aim of awarding a contract for the project by the end of the year.

Alsherebi added that Saudi Electricity Company expects to award two EPC power plant contracts in 2012 along with an IPP. In total, this will require an investment of SR22-25bn ($5.8-6.6bn).

One of the projects expected to be awarded is the Jeddah South power plant. Bids are to be submitted this month, after the deadline was pushed back from the end of 2011.

Jeddah South thermal power plant will have a capacity of 2,400MW and will comprise four conventional oil-fired thermal generators.

Another power project is planned for Riyadh. Technical bids for PP12 power plant were entered in September 2011 and according to Alsherebi, financial bids will be submitted by the end of March.

Finally, a contract for the second IPP at Rabigh is set to be awarded this year. The 1,800MW project will run on heavy fuel oil. The first 600MW capacity will be brought online in 2017, with the remaining 1,200MW added in 2018.

Once the IPP at Rabigh has been awarded, SEC will focus on the next IPP in the series, which will be at Deba. Deba IPP will have a capacity of 1,800MW; 600MW will be commissioned by 2017 and the remaining 1,200MW capacity will be commissioned by the following year.

Alsherebi said that 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.

SEC has embarked on an ambitious capacity building programme to meet growing demand. By 2021, Alsherebi said that peak demand is forecasted to reach 87.76GW. SEC is planning to have 131.63GW of capacity commissioned by the same year.