State-owned utility Saudi Electricity Co signed on Tuesday a contract worth 1 billion riyals ($267 million) to buy generators for the kingdom's first fossil fuel-fired power plant that will also produce solar energy.
The 550-megawatt integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) plant will primarily burn natural gas, but will generate 50 MW of solar energy to increase fuel efficiency at the planned facility near Tabuk on the Red Sea coast.
SEC did not name the company which will supply generating units to the plant, but an industry source familiar with the matter said the company was General Electric.
ISCC plants reduce emissions of climate-warming carbon by increasing the amount of steam available for driving power generation turbines, without having to burn more gas or oil. SEC said the project, expected to cost a total of 2.5 billion riyals, would be fully operational before the end of 2017.
The company's chief executive Ziyad al-Shiha was also quoted as saying in the statement that a new high voltage direct current facility in Tabuk, expected to cost 4.5 billion riyals, would be commissioned in 2018 to boost electricity transmission in the country's western region and later to Egypt.