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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received a full-turnkey order for the construction of a combined oil-fired power generation and desalination plant in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. The order was placed by the consortium implementing the Rabigh Independent Water, Steam and Power (IWSP) Project, which includes Marubeni Corp., JGC Corp., Itochu Corp. and Arabian Co. for Water and Power Development, Ltd. (ACWA Power), a local independent power producer (IPP). Construction work will get under way in January 2006, with inauguration of commercial operations scheduled for June 2008. The order marks the first full-turnkey order of large-scale integrated oil-fired power generation and desalination plant to MHI from Saudi Arabia in nine years.
The Rabigh IWSP Project aims to supply electricity, water and steam, for a period of 25 years, to Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. (Petro-Rabigh), one of the world's largest joint ventures in integrated oil-refining and petrochemicals*. Petro-Rabigh is equally owned by Saudi Aramco, a state oil company, and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. of Japan. To achieve the project goals, its consortium will establish a special-purpose company (SPC) and build a new power generation and desalination plant. MHI will be in charge of engineering, manufacturing, construction, installation and test operation of the plant.
The plant will be built on the Red Sea coast at Rabigh, approximately 140 kilometers north of Jeddah. The power plant to supply electricity and steam will have a total output capacity of 600 MW. Equipment will include nine oil-fired boilers each having a capacity to produce 470 tons of steam per hour, five 120 MW steam turbines and five generators. The generators will be supplied by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. The reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant will have a capacity to supply 8,000 tons of desalinated water per hour. RO reduces dissolved salt content in seawater to a usable level by filtering feed water through a polymer membrane.
MHI has delivered numerous large-scale thermal power generation plants and desalination plants to countries in the Middle East since the 1980s. The company's extensive delivery record contributed to the customer's decision to award this latest order to MHI.
In view of today's tight energy supplies worldwide and surging oil prices, Saudi Arabia is planning a large number of similar projects for the years ahead. On the strength of the latest order, MHI will further strengthen its marketing activities in the region.
* Note: The JV aims to develop one of the world's largest integrated oil-refining and petrochemical complexes by further constructing a new petrochemical plant that will have a capacity to produce 1.3 million tons per year of ethylene and 900,000 tons per year of propylene as well as other refined products. This will be integrated with Aramco's existing Rabigh Refinery, which has an oil-processing capacity of 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day.