France-based GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions has won a contract from Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction to develop a turnkey substation that will power the Yanbu-4 independent water producer (IWP) plant in Saudi Arabia.
This is the Kingdom’s first integrated, seawater reverse osmosis project that uses clean energy. Yanbu-4, which is set to open in 2023, will have a capacity of 450,000 cubic meters per day of freshwater to supply Makkah and Madinah households.
The project, located 140 kilometers west of Madinah, near the town of Ar Rayyis on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, will use reverse osmosis technology to provide drinkable water. According to the company, “The plant will include solar energy units generating 20 MW of power to reduce grid electricity consumption throughout the desalination process, as well as water storage tanks designed to maintain a capacity of two operational days.”
“The Yanbu-4 project is a major milestone in the development of the Kingdom’s water infrastructure. As a renewable energy-driven project, it meets the vision of the Saudi leadership to promote environmental sustainability, while meeting the growing demand for freshwater supply in the cities of Makkah and Madinah. This win confirms our ability to be a trusted partner in the infrastructure growth of the Kingdom, including in the delivery of turnkey substations for desalination plants.”
The plant will be operated and maintained by ENGIE for a 25-year concession period under a build-own-operate contract by Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) as part of a consortium comprising ENGIE, Nesma, and Mowah.
“A consortium of GE’s Grid Solutions and Al Sharif Group will provide the full turnkey solution for Yanbu-4 including a 380-110 kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation. The substation will provide Yanbu-4 the power required by each load center at the plant,” as per the company statement.