GE's Power Conversion Business Helps Meet Rising Demand for Water and Electricity in Saudi Arabia
GE’s Power Conversion business will provide the electrical variable speed drive (eVSD) system technology including motors and MV7000 drives to help power the new Yanbu 3 power and desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. The systems from GE will increase the efficiency of the desalination plant, reducing the amount of energy needed to run the desalination process as well as the overall cost.
Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) is building the Yanbu 3 power and water treatment facility on the Red Sea coast, about 200 kilometers north of Jeddah, to provide 2,700 megawatts (MW) of reliable electricity and 550,000 m3/day of clean water for 8 million residents and businesses in the region.
“A growing population, alongside strong growth in industry, makes meeting the region’s energy and water needs one of our greatest challenges. GE provides us with a reliable, economical, scalable and efficient infrastructure, and its focus on exceptional customer care means we can confidently meet the Kingdom’s utility needs now and in future,” said Abdul Hadi Al-Sheikh, Deputy Governor and Project Director of SWCC.
GE is supplying its MV7000 eVSD drive and electric motor equipment to pumps manufacturer KSB and its customer, local engineering, procurement and construction company Al-Toukhi. The equipment will be used to power the boiler feed pumps at SWCC’s new Yanbu 3 facility.
The scope of supply includes 15 induction motors (17.1 MW each), 15 input transformers (23MVA) and 15 medium Voltage (MV) Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) 18 MW each.
GE’s eVSDs offers plant operators four key benefits over conventional equipment including greater energy savings, operation flexibility and reliability and lower maintenance costs. “Our research has shown that an 8 percent increase in energy efficiency will help save the region SR50 billion over 10 years, and we are committed to working with the Kingdom to deliver these savings,” said Sandro Malquori, General Manager, Middle East, North Africa & Turkey for GE’s Power Conversion business. “The selection of GE’s equipment for the Yanbu project reflects our significant role in eVSDs in the Middle East and around the world.”
The Yanbu project order follows two previous bids GE’s Power Conversion business won to supply its technology to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the region’s largest power generation utility. GE was awarded a US$23 million contract to supply 24 MV7000 VSDs for the SEC Jeddah South and Shuqaiq steam power plants.
GE’s MV7000 eVSDs integrated solution helps maximize the lifespan of the plant’s power generation equipment by controlling motor speed, torque and power as well as providing more than 95 percent efficiency over the plant’s operational life cycle. The eVSDs respond rapidly to changes in load, speed and torque commands and require very limited, simple maintenance. GE’s technology also has helped minimize complex mechanical components and provides a soft start that reduces voltage dips and starting shock to reduce maintenance requirements.
GE has three offices and six facilities in Saudi Arabia accounts; the Kingdom has the largest GE workforce in the Middle East with over 1,400 employees driving the healthcare, transportation, power, oil & gas, water, and aviation businesses. More than 500 GE turbines currently generate over 50 percent of Saudi’s electricity, and the company’s advanced technology supports the production of 150 million liters clean water daily, delivered to the country’s remotest corners.