Leading energy solutions provider Siemens has an impressive history of the successful construction of technologically advanced power plants in the Middle East - and the projects are only set to get bigger in the future.
Abu Dhabi, the largest of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has, for the last 50 years, experienced unprecedented population and industrial growth. The discovery of oil in the late 1930s, and the subsequent finding that the emirate holds 9% of the world's proven oil reserves and 5% of the world's natural gas, sparked a revolution that saw the population multiply by almost 100 times between 1960 and 2010.
This rapid development has represented a huge opportunity for international technology and energy solutions providers such as Siemens. Since the company first established a presence in the Middle East 150 years ago, during the laying of the Indo-European telegraphic line, it has been involved in some of the region's most innovative and technologically advanced infrastructure projects, including energy-efficient power plants.
In October 2011, Siemens handed over the Shuweihat S2 power and desalination plant, a greenfield development 250km west of the city of Abu Dhabi and the fifth power plant constructed by the company in the emirate. Producing 1,510MW of power and capable of desalinating 100 million imperial gallons of seawater a day (MIGD), the plant includes two power and desalination blocks, each comprising two Siemens SGT5-4000F gas turbines, one SST5-4000 steam turbine and three multistage flash units. Since the beginning of commercial operation, this plant has operated at 100% availability.
An integrated water and power project, Shuweihat S2 was constructed by a consortium led by Siemens together with Samsung C&T and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, as a turnkey project. Construction began in December 2008 and was completed within 33 months. As a benchmark in industry, Siemens conducted this project with 10.5 million man-hours without any lost-time accidents. The energy-efficient, combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) has boosted Abu Dhabi's ability to deal with rising demand - especially during peak summer periods - and also supplies power to a refinery at nearby Ruwais.
"Delivering such an integrated solution at highest quality is a masterpiece of engineering, requiring long experience and vast in-house capabilities," says Marcus Brueckner, head of Fossil Power Generation in the Middle East at Siemens Energy. "Energy solutions in such a particular environment always have to be adapted to the specific needs of the region. This is why we combine our global experience with our local presence. We are committed to exceeding our customers' expectations."
Having successfully executed several such projects, Siemens has been a trusted partner for the turnkey construction of efficient power plants in the Middle East for more than 40 years. Among its other major projects have been the 2005 Shuweihat S1 desalination and CCPP with an installed capacity of 1,500MW and a production capacity of 100MIGD of drinking water. Siemens has also been contracted to build the Shuweihat S3 CCPP, which will enter commercial operation in 2014, and will have an installed capacity of 1,600MW.
Before the Shuweihat projects, Siemens had already successfully executed several other projects in the region. In June 2011, the company completed phase four of the extension of the Tabouk CCPP in Saudi Arabia. In Bahrain, the company completed the Al Ezzel CCPP with an installed capacity of 950MW in June 2006. The power plants at Ras Laffan in Qatar and Jebel Ali in UAE, and the new extension of Taweelah B in UAE, were handed over to their respective customers in 2005.
Recently, Sohar 2 and Barka 3, two CCPPs in the Sultanate of Oman, went into commercial operation on schedule - well in time to meet the peak electricity demand during the hot summer months. With the total generation capacity of 1.5GW, the two plants increase the sultanate's existing capacity of circa 4.5GW to approximately 6GW. Siemens was responsible for the turnkey construction of these highly efficient power plants, together with its consortium partner GS E&C.
"With the two new power plants Sohar 2 and Barka 3, we again achieved within schedule technological excellence by combining quality in project planning and project execution," says Lothar Balling, head of gas turbine power plant solutions at Siemens Fossil Power Generation. "Using reliable and proven Siemens technology, we could successfully demonstrate that we are well positioned in the Gulf region as a turnkey solutions provider, together with our consortium partner and suppliers from the region."
Looking to the future, Siemens will continue to deliver state-of-the-art technology in the Middle East. In 2010, the company was awarded the contract to build the Raz Al Kheir CCPP in Saudi Arabia, which will have an installed capacity of 2.4GW. In addition, the plant will supply 30MIGD of drinking water. The latest order for Siemens from the Middle East region is for the Jazan CCPP. Siemens will supply five power islands for the power plant, and approximately ten F-class gas turbines. With an installed capacity of 4GW, it will be the largest gasification-based power plant site in the world.