GE has received a contract of nearly $300 million to supply five steam turbines for a major expansion of the Saudi Electricity Company’s (SEC) Qurayyah Open Cycle Power Plant in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. The five steam turbines will join 15 GE F-technology gas turbines already operating at the site, converting the plant to combined-cycle operation to help Saudi Arabia meet its goals for greater power generation capacity and efficiency.

When the power plant conversion is completed, scheduled for the second quarter of 2012, the site’s power output will increase from 1,907 to 3,148 megawatts – a boost of 1,241 megawatts, equivalent to 10 percent of the SEC installed capacity in the Eastern Province. This will help meet the growing industrial and residential power demand in the Kingdom’s eastern and central regions.

“One of our central priorities is to increase the efficiency of our power production, within the context of increasing our electricity output to meet the Kingdom’s growing power needs,” said Eng. Ali Saleh al-Barrak, president and CEO of Saudi Electricity Company. “Converting the Qurayyah plant to combined-cycle operation will allow us to produce more power from the same amount of natural gas, which also helps meet our environmental requirements.”

With its rapidly growing population and economic development, Saudi Arabia’s demand for electricity has been increasing at a rate of 8 percent or more a year. Saudi Arabia’s Industry and Electricity Ministry estimates that the Kingdom will require up to 20 gigawatts of additional power-generating capacity by 2019.

“This latest agreement reflects GE’s commitment to provide the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and our long-standing partner SEC with advanced technology solutions that support their goals of responsible energy growth,” said Joseph Anis, GE Energy’s president for the Middle East. “Building on the strong relationship we have developed with SEC over the past 40 years, the Qurayyah project will help to meet SEC’s and the Saudi government’s energy efficiency objectives while also increasing the Kingdom’s supply of reliable power.”

When the Qurayyah plant conversion is completed, the combined-cycle facility will include five GE 307FA combined-cycle packages; each featuring three Frame 7FA gas turbines and one GE D Series steam turbine.

In a combined-cycle configuration, exhaust gas from a gas turbine-generator is converted to steam, which is used to drive a steam turbine-generator, enabling the plant to produce additional power without an increase in fuel consumption. The increased fuel efficiency of combined-cycle technology means that less carbon dioxide is produced per megawatt of power generated.

The engineering and procurement company (EPC) contract for the plant expansion was secured by the Arabian Bemco Contracting Company and South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries.