Taking power to the Middle East

3 min read

GE Energy has received contracts totalling more than $1.8bn to supply power plant projects in Kuwait and Qatar.

GE Energy has received contracts totalling more than $1.8bn to supply 32 gas turbines and additional equipment for power plant projects in Kuwait and Qatar that will add more than 5GW of capacity to help meet the Middle East’s rapidly growing demand for electricity.

Under the first of the new contracts, GE will supply 20 Frame 9E gas turbines to Kharafi National of Kuwait for the Sabiya Power Station, which will add more than 2.5GW of power capacity for the State of Kuwait. The new power plant will be owned and operated by Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water.

This will be an emergency power, fast-track project with an aggressive delivery schedule. The gas turbines will be manufactured at GE’s facilities in Belfort, France, with shipments to the project site planned for October 2007 through June 2008. The commissioning phase for the new units is expected to begin in May 2008 and be completed in September 2008.

The Sabiya plant will operate in simple-cycle base load mode, initially using liquid fuel with plans to switch to natural gas when it becomes available in approximately three years.

In the second project, GE will supply gas and steam and power plant system services for a 2GW power plant in Qatar – the largest such facility in the country and among the largest in the Middle East. Owned and operated by the Mesaieed Power Company Limited of Mesaieed, Qatar, the new plant is being built by Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion of Madrid, Spain.

GE will supply six Frame 9FA gas turbines, six 330H type generators and three D11 steam turbines, to be used for combined-cycle base load and part load operation; and two Frame 6B gas turbines for simple cycle black start duties.

The scope of GE’s supply contract also includes additional plant equipment, technical advisory services, commissioning, performance tests and training. Under a separate contractual service agreement, GE will provide 12 years of maintenance services, encompassing two major inspection cycles.

Qatar’s demand for power has increased by an average of around nine percent from 2001 to 2005 while in 2006 it increased by more than 17 percent, according to the International Energy Agency.

The first Frame 9FA gas turbine-generator was prepared for shipment and left the GE factory in June 2007. The first Frame 6B gas turbine-generator is expected to be shipped in July 2007 and the first steam turbine-generator in February 2008.

The plant is expected to begin producing its first gigawatt of power in July of 2008, with the full power output of 2GW planned by April of 2010.

The Frame 9FA gas turbines are being manufactured at GE’s facilities in Greenville, South Carolina, the Frame 6B gas turbines in Belfort, France, and the steam turbines in Schenectady, New York. Natural gas will be the primary fuel for the power plant, with distillate as the backup. Emissions will be limited to 9 ppm in combined-cycle operation.

The third project, also in the Mesaieed Industrial City of Qatar, is a turnkey project in which GE will lead a consortium with Doosan Heavy Industries and provide four 9FA gas turbines and two steam turbines to Qatalum for a new combined-cycle power plant that will generate power for the first aluminium smelter in Qatar. This will also be the first smelter in the entire region using F technology.

This project also includes training and a separate contractual service agreement covering maintenance services. Doosan’s scope in the project includes the heat recovery steam generator, as well as the engineering, procurement and construction of the new power plant. The primary fuel source is natural gas and total plant output will be approximately 1.25GW.

The four 9FAs are planned to be shipped in late 2008 and testing is expected to start in September 2009. The start-up will be gradual according to the growth in the smelter power demand. Full commercial operation is planned for mid-2010.

Manufacturing of the gas turbines will be at GE Energy’s facility in Greenville, and the steam turbines will be built in Schenectady.

With the latest series of orders in Kuwait and Qatar, GE Energy now has received orders and commitments totaling more than $3.5bn for Middle East projects since December 2006.

In addition to the new orders, GE is further expanding its presence in the region by establishing new power generation projects offices in the Middle East to coordinate project management activities for the region.