Helping to Feed Steam-Hungry, Power-Producing Behemoths
Part of what makes modern power plants such significant investments is that these facilities represent extremely complex, high-performance, highly calibrated systems with innumerable “moving parts.” The bigger the plant the more relevant this is, which is the case with Saudi Electricity Company’s (SEC) two upcoming plants in Saudi Arabia, each of which has a peak capacity of 2,640 megawatt (MW), making them among the world’s largest steam power plants. Each plant produces enough electricity to meet the needs of 2 million people.
For the Jeddah South and Shuqaiq steam power plants, the main auxiliary component (i.e., the most important component after the main steam turbines and generators that actually produce the electricity) are the boiler feed pumps. These pumps, which have the critical job of delivering steam into the steam turbines, are driven by GE’s MV7000 variable speed drives (VSD). The MV7000s will control the pumps’ motor speed, torque and power. In a recently announced deal, 24 18MW MV7000s will be installed across the two plants.
The MV7000 technology, which eliminates complex mechanical components and requires limited and simple maintenance, will help the plant increase operating efficiency, reliable power availability, plant throughput and operational precision.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the engineering, procurement and construction firm, building the two plants, awarded the contract to GE’s Power Conversion business. The plants will be owned by the SEC, the region’s largest power generation utility