GE: Green Duba project true milestone for Saudi Arabia

Updated 04 January 2015

GE: Green Duba project true milestone for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has selected its long-time partner GE for a project that marks Saudi Arabia’s first integration of a solar field with a combined cycle plant and the first introduction of condensate as a gas turbine fuel.
The landmark project, the ‘Green Duba’ Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Plant, will be built in the north-western part of Saudi Arabia, along the Red Sea coast, and has the capacity to generate the equivalent power needed to supply around 600,000 homes for a year.
“This part of Saudi Arabia is a developing region with limited grid interconnection, so the additional power generated by the Green Duba project will be tremendously important in supporting growth,” said Ziyad M. Alshiha, president and CEO of SEC.
“We expect the plant to provide cost-efficiencies over its lifecycle, along with the fuel flexibility and solar capabilities needed to support the Kingdom’s fuel conservation and renewable technology initiatives.”
The project is designed to generate up to 550 megawatts (MW) from the combined cycle plant; the solar field will supply steam for an additional 50 MW.
The SEC order includes two highly efficient, reliable F-class gas turbines, a 7F.05 and a 7F.03; steam turbine; generators; heat recovery steam generators (HRSG); condenser; boiler feed pumps; Mark VIe distributed control system and a long-term service agreement.
In terms of fuel flexibility, GE has supplied the 7F.05 gas turbine to operate on condensate and the 7F.03 to operate on natural gas, with Arabian Super Light (ASL) crude oil as backup. GE’s F-class gas turbines are the first to offer customers the ability to operate on ASL.
“The contract is another testament to our committed partnership with SEC to further enhance the efficiency and flexibility of its plants,” said Hisham Albahkali, GE’s president and CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
“The integration of solar power and the introduction of condensate fuel at the Green Duba project is a true milestone for the Kingdom, and supports the government’s vision to promote energy sector efficiency with a focus on renewables,” said the CEO.
Recently, the first four 7F.05 gas turbines in the field successfully reached full commercial baseload operation at SEC Power Plant (PP) 12 in Riyadh.
By early 2015, all eight units at PP12 will be operating in combined cycle and add nearly 2,000 megawatts.
Today, GE assists in the generation of more than half of the Kingdom’s power supply and has over 500 gas turbines installed in the Kingdom.
GE equipment operates in approximately 40 SEC power plants— a partnership that spans over four decades.
With nearly 80 years of experience and 1,000 employees in Saudi Arabia, GE is expanding its energy presence in the Kingdom through knowledge-sharing initiatives and increased investments for technology centers that provide service, repair support and customer training in the power, water and oil and gas sectors.


Tunisia’s tourism industry hit hard by coronavirus pandemic

Updated 27 September 2020

Tunisia’s tourism industry hit hard by coronavirus pandemic

  • Tourism accounts for about eight percent of Tunisia’s national output

DUBAI: Tunisia’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and is expected to decline further before 2020 ends.

Tourist activity has shrunk by 60 percent, the country’s tourism minister Habib Ammar said, and that figure could reach 70 percent to reflect the World Tourism Organization’s estimate for global tourism.

Tourism accounts for about eight percent of Tunisia’s national output and is the country’s second biggest employer, with around 400,000 people involved in the industry, after the agricultural sector.

The number of tourists rose 13.6 percent to 9.5 million in 2019, a record level, but Tunisia’s 10-million-visitor target for this year was sidelined when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Despite this quandary, the government is considering various proposals to help stakeholders in the sector, state news agency TAP reported.

A gradual recovery of tourism activity will be recorded next year, both worldwide and nationwide, ensuring that the tourist units that will be preserved will have the capacity to accommodate tourists, it added.

Ammar also said that government remains committed to implement support plans such as the rescheduling of the settlement of bank and social security fund debts, and extending credits over longer repayment periods.

The tourism ministry is working with all intervening parties to implement this measure, which will make it possible to provide liquidity to the tourist units, and consequently, to guarantee a better future for the tourist activity, he added.

“This will also allow the ministry to develop a strategy and a clear plan for the sector in the medium and long term.”