State oil company Saudi Aramco has finalised financing with the project company to develop its 900MW cogeneration power project programme.

According to sources close to the project, financial close on the estimated $650m project to develop three cogeneration power plants was reached on 9 January.

Aramco awarded three contracts to a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and JGC Corporation and the local Aljomaih Energy & Water Company to build and operate three cogeneration plants in the kingdom in August 2013. The Power Cogeneration Plant Company has been formed as the project company to oversee the development and operation of the plant.

The three cogeneration plants, with a combined total capacity of 900MW, will be located at Abqaiq, Ras Tanura and Hawiya. The plants will produce a total of 1,500 tonnes of steam an hour. The projects are scheduled to come online in 2016. The Japanese/local consortium will build and operate the cogeneration plants for 20 years, providing power and steam to all three Aramco facilities.

Aramco will hold a 50 per cent stake in the new plants. Marubeni Corporation holds 25 per cent of shares in the project company, while JGC Corporation and Aljomaih Holding Company hold stakes of 15 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The Marubeni-led consortium has appointed South Korea’s Samsung Engineering to build the power plants.

Financial close on the cogeneration programme follows the recent signing of the project agreements for the state’s Saudi Electricity Company’s (SEC’s) 2,060MW Rabigh 2 independent power project (IPP). SEC signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) with a consortium led by the local Acwa Power on 30 November to develop the $1.6bn Rabigh 2 power plant.

The Acwa Power consortium had been selected as the preferred bidder for the 2,060MW IPP in January, and signed the PPA with SEC on 30 November. The PPA has created the Al-Mourjan for Electricity Production Company to operate the Rabigh 2 plant, with SEC and the winning consortium holding a share of 50 per cent each.

As part of the Acwa consortium, South Korea’s Samsung C&T has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the power plant. The combined-cycle, gas-fired plant will be located in Rabigh on the western coast of Saudi Arabia, 150 kilometres north of Jeddah.