GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions, a GE business that equips utilities and industries to bring power from the point of generation to end-users, has completed a landmark turnkey contract for a substation to power Rabigh-3 salt water desalination plant, one of the world’s largest sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants that will supply drinking water to Makkah and Jeddah.
For the project, Grid Solutions drew on several of its internal GE teams, including SWS (Software Solutions) Saudi Arabia, for the internal units of the substation.
GE’s Grid Automation facility in Dammam, Saudi Arabia supplied protection and SAS systems. GE’s Grid Solutions Project Management, Site, Commissioning, EHS and Quality Teams in Saudi Arabia successfully led the work on the 380/110 kV substation.
Intelligent spatial planning and the compact design of the new T155 380 kV gas-insulated substation (GIS) led to less space being utilised for the substation. GE’s Grid Solutions is also providing training for Rabigh-3 employees at GE facilities as well as on-site.
The GE unit had won this independent water and power (IWP) bulk supply joint project from Rabigh-Three Company, the co-owner and operator of Rabigh-3 IWP plant.
The original agreement for the contract was signed by GE’s Grid Solutions and Shandong Tiejun Electric Power Engineering Company alongwith project ownership under Rabigh Three Company.
As per the deal, GE’s Grid Solutions completed the design, civil works, equipment supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the 380/110 kV substation despite Covid-19 challenges, said a statement from the company.
Energising the plant within the timeframe contributed to the on-schedule commissioning of Rabigh-3 IWP, which has the capacity to deliver 600,000 cu m of drinking water daily to Makkah and Jeddah.
President & CEO GE Grid Solutions (Mena and Turkey) Bernard Dagher, said: "The energisation of the substation is a testament to our commitment to delivering our projects in the kingdom, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic."
"The substation contract enabled us to partner on the ambitious Rabigh-3 Sea Water Reverse Osmosis desalination plant that supplies water to Makkah and Jeddah. The use of our advanced technology and the efficient and safe mobilisation of our teams highlights our focus on supporting the Kingdom in meeting the Vision 2030 goal of ensuring high quality services, including water, to the people," he stated.
Abdulaziz Al Madhi, CEO of Rabigh-Three Company, said: "The substation serves as a critical link in the commissioning of the Rabigh-3 IWP plant, which will bring reliable, uninterrupted and safe drinking water to the residents of Makkah and Jeddah."
"One of the world’s largest such plants, Rabigh-3 IWP is a national asset that adds to the quality of our water services infrastructure. We are delighted to have partnered with GE’s Grid Solutions to deliver high-quality, efficient on-site work to complete the project ahead of schedule," he stated.
Mo Bing, Project Director of Shandong Tiejun Electric Power Engineering Company, said: "The energisation of the substation is an important part of the Rabigh-3 IWP to provide the 600,000 cu m per day capacity of drinking water to serve the people of Saudi Arabia."
"As a state-owned company of Shandong-China, the participation of our organisation as the Main Contractor and the successful achievement of the energisation of the substation with the GE in the shortest duration compared to other projects in Saudi Arabia is not less than a miracle," stated Bing.
"And, this is one of the exemplifications of China’s commitment and relation with Saudi Arabia in the development and support to meet the stupendous vision 2030 of the King and the Crown prince of Saudi Arabia," he added.
Rabigh-3 IWP is majority-owned by ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor and operator of power generation and water desalination plants with assets in 13 countries.