Utility seeks contractors for Ras al-Zour power plant

23 October 2009

Saudi state-owned utility Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) is inviting contractors to qualify to bid for its planned Ras al-Zour power and water plant.

SWCC introduced the scheme to the market at a roadshow in Bahrain on 19 October. The company will tender the power and water plants separately.

While there is no specific deadline by which firms must qualify, SWCC plans to announce the qualifiers on 1 November.

It will than issue the engineering, procurement and construction tenders on 5 December. Its bid deadline for both the power and water packages is 20 March 2010, and it expects to award the contracts on 1 June 2010.

The project involves building a 2,400MW, combined-cycle power plant and a 226-million-gallon-a-day (g/d) hybrid desalination plant at the Ras al-Zour industrial complex, 75 kilometres northeast of Jubail on the country’s east coast.

Under the contract, the desalination plant must use thermal desalination technology to generate at least 70 per cent of the water it produces. It can use reverse-osmosis technology to generate up to 30 per cent of its water.

SWCC wants the power plant to produce its first commercial power on 1 December 2012. The plant will begin by supplying Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) with 350MW of power.

The utility wants the plants to produce full power by 31 December 2013 at the latest. State-run energy giant Saudi Aramco will supply 500 million cubic feet a day of natural gas as feedstock for the plant.

It will also provide diesel oil or Arabian Extra Light Crude oil as a back-up to the natural gas.

SWCC will connect the plant to Saudi Electricity Company’s grid at 380kV using a new substation at Ras al-Zour.

Saudi Electricity will take 1,050MW of the plant’s power output and SWCC will take 220 million g/d of desalinated water.

The plant will also supply Maaden’s planned bauxite refinery and aluminium smelter, also at Ras al-Zour, with 1,350MW of power and 6 million g/d of water.

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