The substation serves as a critical link in the commissioning of Rabigh-3 IWP plant.

GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions, a GE business that equips utilities and industries to bring power from the point of generation to end-users, has completed a landmark turnkey contract for a substation to power Rabigh-3 salt water desalination plant, one of the world’s largest sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants that will supply drinking water to Makkah and Jeddah.

For the project, 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 and 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 utilised for the substation. GE’s Grid Solutions is also providing training for Rabigh-3 employees at GE facilities as well as on-site.

The GE unit had won this 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 by GE’s Grid Solutions and Shandong Tiejun Electric Power Engineering Company with project ownership under Rabigh Three Company.

As per the deal, GE’s Grid Solutions completed the design, civil works, equipment supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the 380/110 kV substation despite Covid-19 challenges, says the company.

Energising the plant within the timeframe contributed to the on-schedule commissioning of Rabigh-3 IWP, which has the capacity to deliver 600,000 cu m of drinking water daily to Makkah and Jeddah.

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.