Acwa Power Zarqa combined cycle power plant in Jordan starts operations

Acwa Power Zarqa combined cycle power plant in Jordan starts operations
Published: 8 April 2019 - 7:54 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Saudi-based Acwa Power, a major developer of power and water desalination projects, said its joint venture IPP (independent power project) with Jordan's National Electric Power Company (Nepco) in the Zarqa region of Jordan, has entered commercial operations adding 485 MW electricity to the country's grid.

The Acwa Power Zarqa combined cycle power plant can generate the equivalent electricity needed to supply up to 350,000 Jordanian households and is the most efficient thermal power plant in Jordan, said a statement from the Saudi company.

It is capable of operating at over 51 per cent combined cycle efficiency, leading to lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions per megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated.

The Acwa Power Zarqa IPP supports Jordan’s Vision 2025 to boost economic growth and the Master Strategy of the Energy Sector of Jordan (National Energy Strategy) to drive stronger investments in private and public power projects to boost domestic energy generation by 40 per cent by 2020.

Acwa Power President and CEO Paddy Padmanathan said: "We are delighted to announce the launch of Zarqa CCGT plant, which reaffirms our commitment and contribution to the Jordanian power sector, economy, and social development."

"The completion of construction and commencement of operations of the plant represents our pragmatic approach to serving the power needs of growing countries and communities while increasing efficiency and delivering power at low cost," observed Padmanathan.

"The fact that this project is capable of delivering electricity at one of the lowest tariffs in the country is a source of great pride to us," he added.

The Zarqa plant has deployed three of its 9E gas turbines following a deal executed in September 2016 with Acwa Power and SepcoIII Electric Power Construction Company, which is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.

"GE has supported the development of Jordan’s power sector for almost 40 years, with advanced solutions that bring high levels of operational efficiency and productivity," remarked Mohamad Ali, the president and CEO of GE's Gas Power Systems (projects business) for the Middle East, India and Pakistan.

"GE’s 9E gas turbines are an excellent fit for Jordan as they operate reliably and efficiently in extreme conditions such as desert heat and offer tremendous versatility and fuel flexibility, capable of running on more than 50 different kinds of fuels, thus allowing Nepco to utilise more economical fuels and leading to lower costs of power production," he added.

Located to the north-east of Zarqa city, the project is constructed next to the decommissioned Hussein Thermal Power Station (HTPS).

GE Power said it has a strong footprint in Jordan, having also signed a multi-year services agreement with Samra Electric Power Company (Sepco) for full-plant maintenance services, including parts and repairs for critical power generation equipment for the 1,175 MW Samra Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Power Plant in the Zarqa region, which feeds power into the national grid for both residential and commercial use.

The agreement covers seven GE gas turbines that are installed and operating at the Samra Station, it stated.

In addition to the three GE heavy-duty gas turbines, the power plant also features three heat recovery steam generators and one steam gas turbine generator, it added.

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