The 2,640MWJeddah South project has been designed to meet the electricity demand in the western region, particularly for infrastructure projects in the cities of Mecca and Medina.

Being developed at a site south of Jeddah, a city on the country’s western coast facing the Red Sea, the Jeddah South project is claimed to be the first heavy oil- fired supercritical power generation plant in Saudi Arabia.

The supercritical boiler technology is designed to maximize the power efficiency of the plant.

South Korea based Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) constructed the plant, for which the equipment was supplier by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

The work is a part of a $3.2bn contract awarded by Saudi Electricity in 2012 to HHI and MHI.

Scheduled to be completed in 2017, the oil-fired thermal power project is expected to meet the power needs of about 2 million people, which is about 5% of Saudi Arabia’s entire power generation capacity.

Reuters cited Saudi Arabia Deputy Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman as saying in February that energy consumption in the county is estimated to increase by 4 to 5% annually in the next few years.