The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has received the technical bids for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its $1bn conversion of the Riyadh PP10 power station into a combined-cycle facility.

The technical bids were received during April and the commercial bids are now expected to be submitted during May.

Saudi Arabia electricity consumption 
Year Consumption (in billions of kilowatts)
2007 144.4
2008 156.8
2009 164.64
2010 165.1
2011f 173.3
f=Forecast. Source: Index Mundi

“The [technical] bids are now being evaluated and the commercial bids will be submitted soon,” a source familiar with the project says. “This is one of many power projects being tendered in the kingdom at the moment by the SEC.”

Six contractors are bidding for the work including:

  • Arabian Bemco Contracting Company (Local)
  • Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (South Korea)
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries (South Korea)
  • Marubeni Corporation (Japan)
  • National Contracting Company (Local)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)

The scope of works for the conversion to combined cycle involves the installation of steam turbines, a heat recovery steam generator, transformers, switchgear and a fuel treating and conditioning unit.

The winning bidder will be announced in the third quarter by SEC, with completion of the project due for the second quarter of 2014. The plant will have a capacity of 990MW on completion.

“SEC wants to act quickly with this project,” the source says. “Work is expected to start almost immediately after the winning bidder has signed the contracts [with SEC].”

Combined-cycle power plants are becoming more popular as they increase the efficiency of power plants by recycling the heat from one set of generators and turn it into steam to power another.

The Saudi Arabian government owns 74 per cent of SEC with private shareholders retaining 19 per cent and the oil giant Saudi Aramco owning 7 per cent.

The government is encouraging the fast-tracking of power projects in the kingdom to try and meet booming domestic demand that is growing at a rate of around 5.5 per cent a year.