Saudi Arabia has changed its plans for the third phase of the oil-fired power generation plant at Yanbu by increasing the capacity from 1,700MW to 2,500MW.

As a result of the project scope alteration, the deadline for both the power plant and adjacent 550,000 cubic metres a day desalination facility has been extended to March. Contractors now have until 19 March to respond to the desalination tender and the bids will be opened the following day. The bid deadline for the power tender has been moved to 9 April and bids will be opened on 10 April.

Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and Power & Water Utility Company for Jubail & Yanbu (Marafiq) are the clients on the project.

“We had to change the deadline to cater to the changed requirements of the power plant, so they have to redo [the bids] again,” says a source at SWCC.

Phase three will be built to the south of the existing power and desalination plants at Yanbu on the western coast of Saudi Arabia.

SWCC and Marafiq have been working together on the project since they combined their respective projects for the Yanbu site in July 2009. They are tendering design, engineering and construction contracts for the power and desalination components separately.

Construction is expected to take three years from site handover to commercial operation. Heavy fuel oil will be the main fuel source for the project with diesel oil used for start-up of the plant.

Seawater for the desalination unit will be obtained through an intake channel and an outfall culvert will discharge seawater and brine back into the Red Sea.

The plant will be connected to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) grid through a newly constructed 380kV substation at Yanbu. Germany’s Fichtner is the adviser on the project.