The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has awarded two contracts worth a total of SR657m ($175m) for two electricity projects in the western region of the kingdom.

For the first project, SEC awarded the local Saudi Services for Electro Mechanic Works a SR398.4m contract to reinforce a 380kV cable network in the city of Jeddah. For the second scheme, the local National Contracting Company (NCC) was awarded a SR258.6m deal to build a 380kV overhead transmission line in the Duba al-Bida area in the western region.

SEC awarded the contracts to the local firms on 24 December 2012. The contract awards were the last of several major contracts awarded by SEC in 2012, as it seeks to overhaul and expand the kingdom’s transmission and distribution networkrs.

In November, SEC awarded Italy’s CESI a contract to develop a high-voltage district current (HVDC) link between Saudi Arabia’s Central and Western regions.

CESI will assist the SEC in developing the HVDC between Riyadh and Mecca, which will cover the central and western regions of the kingdom. The 800-kilometre link will connect the Dharma and Bahra stations, boosting the generation capacity of local distribution networks, which frequently experience power disruptions.

The HVDC link will enable multiple users to have a power-carrying capacity of more than 3,000MW. Riyadh will develop an additional 30,000MW of generation capacity as part of plans to double Saudi Arabia’s capacity by 2030 to meet the power demands of a growing population.

In August 2012, SEC awarded two bulk supply point substation contracts worth $206m to the local Al-Toukhi for substation projects.

The first contract, worth SR334.8m was for a 380/115kV substation at Al-Omran in the country’s eastern region. The second contract was worth SR438.8m. Al-Toukhi will build a 380/132/13.8kV substation at Muhayil West in the south of the country.