Saudi Electricity, GE in partnership to boost digitalisation

Saudi Electricity, GE in partnership to boost digitalisation
Published: 21 April 2018 - 4:16 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

An agreement has been signed at the Saudi-US CEO Forum between Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and GE to further drive the digital transformation of power in the Kingdom and help achieve energy-related goals under the Saudi Vision 2030.

As per the memorandum of understanding (MoU), SEC and GE intend to continue to work together towards accelerating the digital transformation of the Kingdom’s power sector.

The focus will be on enhancing the reliability, efficiency and performance of the Kingdom’s power sector through SEC’s Generation Optimisation Centre (GOC), which enables asset performance management at power plants through GE’s advanced digital industrial solutions.

The MoU was signed in New York by Khaled Al Rashed, CEO of the Saudi Electricity Co. for Projects Development, a subsidiary of SEC; and Stephen McCallion, Government Affairs & Communications Leader, GE Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, on behalf of Hisham Al Bahkali, President & CEO for GE Saudi Arabia & Bahrain.

The signing was followed by a meeting in Riyadh among Ziyad Bin Mohammed Al Shiha, CEO of SEC; Russell Stokes, President & CEO of GE Power; Joseph Anis, President & CEO of GE’s Power Services business in Africa, India and the Middle East; and other senior executives from both organisations to discuss areas for future collaboration and growth.

Al Shiha said, “Through the MoU with GE, we are building on ongoing digital transformation initiatives launched by SEC and GE in the Kingdom to achieve higher levels of productivity in the power industry from the point of generation to transmission and distribution.This is critical, as the power sector plays a central role in driving all-round progress, especially in supporting industrial activity and improving citizens’ quality of life in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

The GOC is connected to up to 25 power plants that generate more than 40 gigawatts (GW) of power.

The centre obtains real time data on parameters such as fuel consumption, output and heat rate, allowing SEC to identify possible performance and reliability losses and providing real time visibility on the cost of electricity production for each power plant, enabling SEC to better operate the grid at the fleet level. SEC and GE launched an extensive capacity development programme for over 50 SEC staff to train them on the digital transformation and help them run the centre.

Anis said, “SEC has always been a technology leader across the Middle East and an early adopter of new innovations.The progress made at the GOC and SEC’s plan to expand it further is a testament to their efforts to modernise the Kingdom’s power sector with the latest solutions.We look forward to collaborating with SEC in the coming years to help them continue their digital transformation journey.”

SEC and GE intend to implement digital industrial solutions at additional power plants across the Kingdom that generate up to 25GW of electricity and put in place a joint team to drive greater reliability and performance at the sites.

The solutions will also include state-of-the-art cyber security applications tailored for power plants. SEC is one of GE Power’s global fleet leaders, and with the widespread adoption of GE’s digital industrial technology, SEC will be among the global leaders adopting GE’s digital industrial solutions for utilities.

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