Riyadh – MENA Herald: Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has selected GE (NYSE: GE) as its solutions provider to drive a nationwide digital transformation of electricity in Saudi Arabia. GE and SEC will work together to make SEC’s power generation capabilities one of the world’s most efficient and reliable, as it prepares to meet the anticipated 50% increase in electric energy needed by 2020.
SEC has established a Generation & Optimization Center (GOC) with a state-of-the-art Center of Technology (COT), which will be equipped with GE digital solutions to monitor, analyze and enhance the reliability and efficiency of 16 SEC power plants. The Center will monitor all data from main plant components, using GE’s advanced industrial software and technologies to predict any potential disruptions and suggest the optimal operational methods. This will enable the team to plan preventive maintenance, avoid downtime and reduce costs. These operations will be held at the COT, where the team can obtain the data and modifies it, while monitoring main KPIs within the power plants.
Eng. Ziyad Al Shiha, CEO of SEC, said: “Supporting the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to drive the all-round growth of the Kingdom is a top priority at Saudi Electricity Company. Enhancing the productivity and operational efficiency of our plants will enable us to meet the growing demand for electricity, and support the ambitious infrastructure development programs. The digital transformation of our assets presents a strong opportunity to accelerate this. As a global leader in digital industrial solutions and a long-term partner of SEC, GE’s advanced technologies will help us not only meet our productivity enhancement goals but also drive sustainable development.”
Steve Bolze, President & CEO, GE Power, said: “I commend SEC for their visionary leadership in embracing a digital future for electricity in Saudi Arabia. Software is transforming every industry, and companies such as SEC who move first to build data-centric business strategies will quickly create tremendous value and capture market opportunity.”
How GE Power Digital Solutions Will Drive the Digital Transformation of SEC
Increasing Reliability, Reducing Outages – SEC has set a goal of reducing outage times by 60% in line with the Kingdom’s new reliability targets. To help achieve this goal, SEC will use GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) software to continuously monitor power plant equipment health across 500 generating units at 16 power plants throughout the country. Insights gained from ‘APM’ will enable plant operators to make decisions that enhance performance, reduce unplanned downtime and extend plant life.
Elevating Efficiency and Reducing Fuel Consumption – The ability to deliver energy supply as contracted in Power Purchase Agreements is a key determinant of business success for SEC. GE’s Operations Optimization software will help SEC more accurately forecast generating capability by making energy generation more predictable. This is achieved by fine-tuning heat rate (a measure of the amount of energy used to generate each kilowatt hour of electricity) and ‘turn down’ rate, which minimizes fuel consumption in periods when electricity demand is low. These twin improvements in thermal efficiency will further enable SEC to reduce costs by making more accurate fuel purchasing, transportation and storage decisions.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Improvements in efficiency will concurrently enable SEC to contribute to CO2 emissions reduction targets. Just a one percent improvement in heat rate efficiency can yield up to a three percent reduction in CO2 emissions.
Responding Dynamically to Peaks in Electricity Demand – SEC has set a goal of creating more flexible capacity to be better able to meet regional electricity demand peaks, such as during the Hajj pilgrimage, when more than 2,000,000 million visitors convene in Mecca. GE’s Business Optimization software will give SEC the ability to forecast generating capacity with a high degree of accuracy, so that it can increase output or trade power profitably with power providers in neighboring countries during times of over or under supply.