Oil firm Saudi Aramco has awarded a contract to Tihama Power Generation Company to expand three independent power and steam projects, adding a further 532MW in power capacity and 2,210 gigajoules an hour (GJ/h) of steam.

Tihama Power Generation Company is a joint venture in which the UK’s IP-GDF Suez holds a 60 per cent stake and the local Saudi Oger holds the remaining 40 per cent. The joint venture company built four captive power plants for the oil major at its gas and oil refineries in Ras Tanura, Juaymah, Shedgum and Uthmaniyah. Together, the original projects produce 1,063MW of power and 5,902GJ/h of steam.

Under the expansion agreement, Tihama Power will generate additional capacity of 532MW of power and 2,210GJ/h of steam through the expansion of three of the four existing projects. This will take the total capacity to 1,595MW and 8,112GJ/h. The original agreement was signed with Tihama in 2003 and has a term of 20 years. The latest agreement for the expansions will run until 2026 and the expansion projects are scheduled for commissioning in 2015.

The total cost for the expansion is about $430m, which is being funded by a mix of debt and equity in an 80:20 ratio. In addition to the expansion projects, Saudi Aramco is planning three greenfield gas-fired electricity and steam plants. It has launched the tender for the projects, which will be located at Abqaiq, Hawiyah and Ras Tanura and will have a total installed capacity of about 770MW of power and 2.95 million pounds an hour in steam output.