Net Power claims its electricty is cheaper than that of traditional combined cycle power plants (Credit: Atlas Copco)
The new project will feature MHPS M701F-series gas turbines, steam turbine, and generators. Image courtesy of MHPS.

Al Layyah power plant expansion includes the construction of a new 1.026GW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant within the existing Layyah power plant site in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for the new power plant was completed in October 2018. The plant is scheduled to commence electricity generation between 2020 and 2021.

Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), a public utility, is the operator of the existing plant and developer of the expansion project.

Al Layyah power plant location and details

The existing Al Layyah power station is located at Layyah and covers a total area of 250,000m2. The new combined-cycle power plant will be constructed on 35,000m2 of land within the existing site.

Construction of the existing Layyah power station began in 1977 and completed in phases. It uses steam and gas combustion turbines to generate 896MW of electricity. It uses approximately 51 million gallons per day (MIGD) of water from the associated desalination plant.

Al Layyah power plant expansion project make-up and details

Natural gas will be the primary fuel, while fuel oil will be used as supplementary source at the combined-cycle power plant.

The Al Layyah power plant expansion will comprise two M701F-series gas turbine units, two heat recovery steam generators, one condensing steam turbine unit, and two gas combustion generators and one steam generators.

With a rated speed of 3,000rpm, the M501F Series gas turbines are expected to have an output ranging from 570MW to 1,130MW. The turbine features an air-cooled combustor and one rotor and has an efficiency of more than 62% when operating at 50Hz frequency in a combined-cycle configuration.

Hot exhaust gases from the gas turbines will provide the required heat for the steam boiler, while the steam generated by the boiler will be used to run the steam turbine. The gas turbine will power the electric generator, while the exhaust steam from the HRSG drives the steam turbine.

The expansion project will also include the installation of additional offshore intake and outfall pipelines, in addition to power generation.

The proposed project will require approximately 5,100m3 of desalinated water and 1.87 million m3 of seawater a day, during operations.

Financing of the Al Layyah power plant expansion

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) agreed to provide an export loan of $241m to SEWA for the expansion project, in March 2019.

Private financial institutions Societe Generale, ING Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank are co-financing the project with $482m. Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) is providing insurance facility for the loan provided by private financial institutions.

Contractors involved

SEWA awarded the $550m engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Al Layyah gas-fired combined-cycle power plant to the consortium of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Elsewedy Electric, in March 2019.

MHPS will provide the turbine units for the power plant as part of the EPC contract, while Elsewedy Electric is responsible for site preparation, balance-of-plant (BOP) works, and other related services.

Environmental Solutions and Consultancy prepared the ESIA report, while EDF Energy was engaged as the engineering consultant for the Al Layyah power plant expansion.