A consortium led by German technology giant Siemens has won a contract to construct a gas turbine power plant in Yemen. Siemens stated that the agreement, made with state-owned Yemeni utility Public Electricity Corporation, was valued at approximately E120 million.

The new gas turbine power plant, which will have a capacity of 340-megawatts, will be built in Marib, some 200km east of the capital Sanaa. Siemens Power Generation’s scope of supply and services for the Marib I unit includes three gas turbines, the instrumentation and controls systems, and overall project management.

Arabian Bemco, the Saudi consortium partner, will be responsible for the other electrical and mechanical equipment, and for the civil structures and installation. Project financing will be secured through the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Yemeni state.

The plant will begin commercial operation in the summer of 2007 and feed power into the Yemeni grid. Previously unutilized natural gas from the oil recovery operations of Yemen Hunt Oil Company will be used to fuel the plant. The use of natural gas instead of oil will mean that the oil is available for export and therefore will be an important source of income for Yemen.

According to Siemens, Yemen currently suffers from regular power shortages. The entire installed power plant capacity is approximately 900-megawatts, which serves only about half of the population.

Marib is our first project in Yemen. The power plant will make a significant contribution toward improving Yemen’s power supply. That is vital for the country’s further economic development, stated Klaus Voges, president of Siemens Power Generation.

Marib I is the first major milestone in the expansion of the country’s power supply. Based on the plans of the Yemeni government, a total power plant capacity of 1,000-megawatts will be installed at this site in three phases.