Global technology leader Siemens has won a contract from Saudi Bio-Acids Company for the supply of its SGT-500 gas turbine to power the new citric acid plant located 35 km south of the Jeddah port.
Siemens’ solution will address the base and peak load power requirements of the plant, which is expected to be operational by mid-2018.
The turbine is designed to consume HFO (heavy fuel oil) and has evaporative cooling and water injection capabilities that enhance peak power performance, said a statement from Siemens.
Saudi Bio-Acids Company is targeting a production output of 80,000 tonnes within two years of commencing operations at the plant, it stated.
Citric acid is used in many industries that range from food and beverage to pharmaceuticals and personal care. Currently, most of the demand for citric acid across the Middle East is met with imports from overseas.
With this plant, Saudi Arabia will start producing this important component for the food industry directly in the Kingdom.
Arja Talakar, the chief executive of Siemens Saudi Arabia, said: "We are grateful and honoured to be a part of this project. Saudi Bio-Acids Company will build the first citric acid plant in Saudi Arabia, which represents a milestone for economic diversification in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030."
Siemens, together with its long-term partner and shareholder EA Juffali and Brothers, are highly committed to industrial development and economic diversification in the kingdom, he stated.
In 2015, the Siemens Dammam Energy Hub (SDEH), the first manufacturing facility for gas turbine technology in the kingdom, launched its operations.
The plant produced the first 'Made in Saudi' gas turbine last year and will soon complete the sixth turbine unit which is destined for Saudi Aramco’s integrated gasification combined cycle power plant in Jazan.
The turbines are built by Saudi talent, which is the result of Siemens’ extensive training program with local partners that produced the first generation of local gas turbine experts, said Talakar.
"With well-trained local talent and strong local manufacturing and service capabilities, Siemens is well positioned to ensure the reliable supply of power to the plant and local value creation," he added.