Saudi Cement and GE Power sign deal to increase power efficiency
RIYADH: Saudi Cement has signed an agreement with GE Power for the upgrade of three GE 6B gas turbines at its Hofuf plant to increase power output and efficiency. The deal represents the first time that GE Power’s Advanced Gas Path (AGP) solution will be implemented to strengthen power generation productivity for a cement industry globally. The project, built on the two organizations’ long-term collaboration, will help Saudi Cement increase power output and efficiency, while reducing the need to draw power from the national grid, in support of the Kingdom’s drive towards greater economic diversification under Saudi Vision 2030.
CEO of Saudi Cement, Mohammed Algarni said, “Power supply is both a key input, as well as one of the major costs in our manufacturing process. Reliable, efficient electricity supply is thus essential for the continuous operations of our facility, as well as our market competitiveness. GE Power’s Advanced Gas Path upgrade solution will allow us to improve efficiencies and become more self-sufficient in power production.”
“As a regional pioneer in the manufacture and supply of high quality clinker and cement, Saudi Cement has played a vital role in the development of construction projects across the Middle East for more than half a century. We are delighted to support their continuous journey of operational improvements and to contribute towards the strengthening of the Kingdom’s industrial base,” said Joseph Anis, President & CEO of GE’S Power Services business in Africa, India and the Middle East.
“The upgrades of the gas turbines at Hofuf Plant will not only help achieve efficiency and output improvements but also extend maintenance intervals and lower emissions, to the benefit of Saudi Cement and the wider community.”
The upgrades are expected to complete by the third quarter of 2018. They will help to enhance efficiency by up to 3.3 per cent per turbine, contributing towards the Saudi National Transformation Program 2020’s goal of improving fuel utilisation in electricity generation to 40 per cent by 2020.
GE has over 80 years of partnership in the Kingdom with over 4,000 employees, including Baker Hughes, a GE company. With nearly 50 per cent of the talent in highly skilled engineering and technology roles. GE has built an advanced industrial ecosystem that includes a growing local supply chain, with significant partnerships and investments in support of the Kingdom in its economic diversification goals, including building localised manufacturing competencies. Meanwhile the American energy firm GE Power has bought a Sh40 billion stake in the Centum-fronted 1,050MW Lamu coal-fired electricity generation plant. GE Power’s Chief Commercial Manager Michael Keroulle ’said the deal will see the American conglomerate allocated 20 per cent shares of Amu Power.
The fresh capital injection will be used for acquisition of plant machinery, a boiler and steam turbine generator built using GES latest clean coal technology as well as air quality control systems.
“The technology greatly reduces emission of Sulphur Oxides, Nitrogen Oxides and particulates (dusts) to levels comparable to gas fired power plants,” he said. Keroulle’ spoke after he represented GE in signing a deal with the project’s developer Gulf Energy. The coal plant is to be set up in the next 42 months.
It is expected to create 2,000 direct jobs and employ another 14,000 indirectly within Lamu. Amu Power Chief Executive Francis Njogu said GE’S entry through allocation of new shares will enable Amu Power to retain its mix of shareholders notably Centum Investment Company , Gulf Energy, China Huadian, Sichuan Number 3 Power Construction Company and Sichuan Electric Power Design and Consulting Company.