Oil is an integral part of the economy of Saudi Arabia, as the country is the world’s largest producer and exporter of this valuable commodity. However, in recent decades Saudi Arabia has increasingly diversified its economy, and today it produces and exports a variety of industrial goods all over the globe.
Furthermore, while Saudi Arabia battles for market share amid fluctuating oil prices, the rise of new industry segments and economic development will help define the economic significance of Saudi Arabia in the future.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia’s cement industry has been grown steadily as it has followed the demands of the booming domestic construction market, partly due to government’s aggressive plans to construct so-called ‘Economic Cities’. As a result, the cement manufacturers are setting up new production facilities while also expanding existing facilities to meet the increasing demand. Riyadh Cement Company was established after a feamesibility study in 2003, to meet the growing demand of cement and especially that of high-quality cement. Since 2011, RCC has been operating as a subsidiary of Saudi White Cement Company.
From the beginning, RCC was adamant in finding a solution that would provide operational efficiency in order to gain benefits for both the company itself and its shareholders. In addition, the objective for RCC was to also incorporate high technology and thus, reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions, in their daily operations. Initially, the plan was to obtain electric power from the local grid, but this solution wasn’t feasible due to issues with the construction of transmission lines from the nearest sub-station to the plant. Furthermore, there were some issues with land usage. Because of these setbacks, RCC was forced to look for a new kind of solution in captive power plants. This raised the opportunity for Wärtsilä to offer Wärtsilä 32 generating sets.
The power plant comprises twelve Wärtsilä 20V32 generating sets operating on heavy fuel oil. The plant offers flexible power supply, combined with high operational efficiency. The Wärtsilä 32 generating set has proven its outstanding long-term reliability through its more than 100 million cumulative running hours in installations around the world. Six Wärtsilä 32 gensets delivered to RCC in 2005 have satisfied the electricity need in producing 5000 tons of cement per day. Yet, six more Wärtsilä 32 engines were delivered in 2010, as the need for another daily 5000 tons of cement arose.
RCC has been very satisfied with the solution delivered by Wärtsilä. The EPC contract provided significant value to the company in multiple ways. The contract set RCC free from construction work and other practicalities as Wärtsilä conducted the delivery as a turnkey delivery.
MW of electrical output
Tons of cement produced per day
We have been very satisfied with the Wärtsilä solution. EPC contract has brought value to the company in multiple ways.
|Customer||Riyadh Cement Company|
|Type||Wärtsilä 32 liquid fuel power plant|
|Operating mode||Flexible baseload|
|Gensets||12 x Wärtsilä 20V32|
|Total output||97 MW|
|Scope||EPC (engineering, procurement & construction)|
|Delivered|| 2005, 2008, 2010|
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Wärtsilä Corporation has signed several important operations and maintenance (O&M) agreements during the past months for power plants in countries as far apart as Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Belgium and India.
“The comprehensive O&M agreements offered by Wärtsilä provide power plant owners with the best available technical support, an experienced operator and fixed O&M costs. Such contracts can be offered at attractive rates through the economies of scale achieved by Wärtsilä through long-term planning, optimizing the use of resources and achieving greater efficiency in the procurement and stock keeping of spare parts”, says Tage Blomberg, Group Vice President, Service. Wärtsilä currently has more than 140 O&M agreements in 31 countries world-wide.
In March, a ten-year agreement was signed in Brazil with Geradora de Energia do Amazonas S/A. The power plant, located in the city of Manaus, will have a capacity of 83 MW. It will supply base-load power to the Manaus grid which is an isolated system in the Amazon region.
In February a five-year agreement was signed to operate a 45 MW power plant supplying energy to Riyadh Cement Company in Saudi Arabia. The ability of Wärtsilä engines to operate reliably under extreme site conditions, at high ambient temperatures, here up to 50°C, and high altitude (835 metres above sea level) is well established. Another key factor is that under the O&M agreement the cost-effective lifecycle operating costs of the Wärtsilä engines are guaranteed. “We believe that giving the O&M to Wärtsilä will help us focus on our core business and improve profitability for our share holders “says Mr. Naseeruddin Siddiqui, Project Manager in Riyadh Cement Company.
Late last year Wärtsilä was awarded a ten-year agreement to operate a BioPower plant in Belgium owned by Renogen SA. The biomass-fuelled combined heat and power plant will produce 3.3 MWe and 10 MWth, or 5.3 MWe in condensate mode. The plant will be located in Amel in the Ardennes area of Belgium and will deliver hot water for drying processes in two local factories, while the electricity generated will be fed to the local grid. BioPower plants are highly modular with standardised components enabling fast delivery and installation of the plants. They are highly automated, enabling unmanned operation during weekends and after normal working hours.
The above power plants are all being constructed by Wärtsilä. However, Wärtsilä also enters into O&M agreements for plants having no Wärtsilä hardware.
For example, in January, Wärtsilä signed an agreement to operate the largest biomass fuelled power plant in India at Thoothukudi, Tuticorin, South India. The O&M agreement involves the complete operation and maintenance of a 25 MW biomass power plant based on Julia Flora (a type of shrub growing on barren land which requires minimal water and no irrigation) and any agricultural crop residue. The power plant is owned by M/s. Ind-Barath Energies Ltd. It will supply power to the local electricity board through a power purchase agreement. This plant will also generate a mass employment programme for the local rural population through the collection, loading, transportation and unloading of Julia Flora and agricultural crop residues.
Wärtsilä has a specialized O&M unit dedicated to operating and maintaining power plants as well as marine and offshore installations. The O&M unit takes responsibility both for energy production, logistics as well as all administrative functions related to the contracted installation.
O&M contracts are tailored to the needs of the plant owner to give real added value. The O&M unit employs experienced, professional operators and is supported by the collective maintenance knowledge of the Wärtsilä global service network. They can guarantee the production performance of the plant. In addition financial predictability can be ensured over the years of operation. Under an O&M agreement, Wärtsilä takes care of everything from recruitment, training and management of the O&M staff to energy production, logistics and other services.
Wärtsilä in brief:
Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 12.000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä offices in over 60 countries around the world.
For further information, please contact:
Public Relations Manager, Power Plants
Wärtsilä Finland Oy
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1456
Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425