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GE completes turnkey substation contract to power the Rabigh-3 desalination plant in Saudi Arabia
GE completes turnkey substation contract to power the Rabigh-3 desalination plant in Saudi Arabia

GE’s Grid Solutions has completed a landmark turnkey contract for a substation to power Rabigh-3 saltwater desalination plant, one of the world’s largest sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants that will supply drinking water to the Holy City of Makkah and Jeddah.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, GE completed the design, civil works, equipment supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the 380/110 kV substation within the timeframe. This contributed to the on-schedule commissioning of Rabigh-3 IWP, which has the capacity to deliver 600,000 cubic meters of drinking water daily to Makkah and Jeddah.

Bernard Dagher, President & CEO, GE’s Grid Solutions, MENAT, said: “The energizing of the substation is a testament to our commitment to delivering our projects in the Kingdom, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. The substation contract enabled us to partner on the ambitious Rabigh-3 Sea Water Reverse Osmosis desalination plant that supplies water to Makkah and Jeddah. The use of our advanced technology and the efficient and safe mobilization of our teams highlights our focus on supporting the Kingdom in meeting the Vision 2030 goal of ensuring high quality services, including water, to the people.”

GE’s Grid Solutions had secured an Independent Water and Power (IWP) Bulk Supply Joint Project from Rabigh-Three Company, the co-owner and operator of Rabigh-3 IWP plant. The original agreement for the contract was signed between GE’s Grid Solutions and Shandong Tiejun Electric Power Engineering Co. Ltd. with project ownership under Rabigh-Three Company.

Abdulaziz Al Madhi, CEO, Rabigh-Three Company, said: “The substation serves as a critical link in the commissioning of the Rabigh-3 IWP plant, which will bring reliable, uninterrupted and safe drinking water to the residents of Makkah and Jeddah. One of the world’s largest such plants, Rabigh-3 IWP is a national asset that adds to the quality of our water services infrastructure. We are delighted to have partnered with GE’s Grid Solutions to deliver high-quality, efficient on-site work to complete the project ahead of schedule.”

Mo Bing, Project Director, Shandong Tiejun Electric Power Engineering Company Ltd., added: “As a state-owned company of Shandong-China, the participation of our organization as the main contractor and the successful achievement of the energization of the substation with GE in a shorter duration compared to other projects in Saudi Arabia is no less than a miracle.”

GE’s Grid Solutions drew on several of its internal GE teams, including SWS (Software Solutions) Saudi Arabia, for the internal units of the substation. GE’s Grid Automation facility in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, supplied protection & SAS systems. GE’s Grid Solutions Project Management, Site, Commissioning, EHS and Quality Teams in Saudi Arabia successfully led the work on the 380/ 110 kV substation.

Intelligent spatial planning and the compact design of the new T155 380 kV gas-insulated substation (GIS) led to less space being utilized for the substation. GE’s Grid Solutions is also providing training for Rabigh-3 employees at GE facilities as well as on-site.

Rabigh-3 IWP is majority-owned by ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor and operator of power generation and water desalination plants with assets in 13 countries.