Saudi Arabia awards first major wind project worth $500m

Saudi Arabia is set to build its first utility-scale wind farm. (Reuters)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia awards first major wind project worth $500m

  • A consortium led by France’s EDF and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar won the bid for the 400-megawatt Dumat Al-Jandal wind project in Al Jouf province
  • Project will generate power to supply up to 70,000 Saudi households

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it has awarded a contract to build its first utility-scale wind farm, as part of its aim to diversify its energy sector.

The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) — part of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources — awarded the Dumat Al-Jandal wind project to a consortium led by France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, known as Masdar.

When completed, the $500 million, 400-megawatt Dumat wind farm will generate sustainable power for up to 70,000 Saudi households and is expected to create almost 1,000 jobs during construction and operation.

“The project will be Saudi Arabia’s first utility-scale wind farm,” AFP quoted the ministry as saying. “This milestone represents another significant step ... toward creating a diversified power sector mix.”

REPDO received four bids for the project from companies across five countries. The project was awarded based the levelized cost of energy of 2.13 US cents per kilowatt hour, registering a new record-low price for a project of this type in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

REPDO was established in 2016 to deliver on the goals of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), in line with the Vision 2030 reform program. The program aims to maximize the potential of renewable energy in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Updated 22 January 2019
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Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco’s Uthmaniyah Gas Plant (UGP) has been recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a “Lighthouse” manufacturing facility and a leader in technology applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
Saudi Aramco is the first energy company globally to be included in this select group of manufacturing sites. The plant is also the only facility in the Middle East to be recognized by WEF. 
The announcement was made ahead of WEFs annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The gas plant is one of the world’s largest gas processing plants and was commissioned in 1981 as part of Saudi Aramco’s Master Gas System to process associated gas from oil wells. 
The use of drones and wearable technologies to inspect pipelines and machinery has helped cut inspection time by 90% in this industrial facility.
“The recognition of the Uthmaniyah Gas Plant demonstrates Saudi Aramco’s shift to transform and adapt in the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Uthmaniyah is only one part of our large integrated energy value chain where IR 4.0 technologies are playing a critical role to enable significant capital and operational efficiencies,” said Amin H. Nasser, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco.
The seven new facilities join nine other “Manufacturing Lighthouses” which WEF unveiled in September 2018. The 16 factories were selected from an initial list of 1,000 manufacturers based on their successful implementation of cutting-edge technologies of the future that drive financial and operational impact.
The “Lighthouse” program was conducted by WEF in collaboration with McKinsey during a year-long study. A study team visited UGP in Saudi Arabia and performed a thorough audit.