General Electric Co. has been awarded a nearly $1 billion contract to build a combined cycle power plant for the Saudi Electric Co., with much of the equipment to be manufactured in Schenectady, according to a GE spokesman.
The Waad Al Shamal plant will be able to generate 1,390 megawatts of power, with 50 megawatts coming from a solar component, the spokesman said.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Five generators and a steam turbine for the project will be manufactured in Schenectady, GE spokesman Shaun Wigginssaid Thursday. Total value of the plant is $980 million.
The project also will include four of GE's heavy-duty gas turbines, with one unit to be made at GE's Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and the other three at GE's plant in Greenville, S.C.
It's not clear how many jobs the contract might support in Schenectady, although GE has been recruiting production workers.
"I can't speak to the impact on jobs right now but we've got a lot of business in the works and Schenectady's part of that,"Wiggins said.
Joe Mastrangelo, president and CEO of Schenectady-based GE Gas Power Systems, said the company is "planning to hire more skilled machinists from the Capital Region in the coming months to work in Schenectady." He added that the Schenectady steam turbine manufacturing facility has "our highest backlog in years."
The new generating plant will be able to supply more than 500,000 Saudi homes, GE said in a news release.
The plant will also support local phosphate mining operations, driving industrialization of the Saudi economy and creating jobs for Saudi nationals, GE said.
"Waad Al Shamal is a strategically located power plant that has tremendous potential to energize the local economy and create jobs for Saudis through its support to the industrial sector," said Ziyad Al Shiha, Saudi Electric's CEO. "By awarding the contract to GE, we are further building on the long-term partnership we have with GE, with a focus on advanced technologies."
Earlier, GE signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint venture with Saudi Electric that extends operations and maintenance support at more than 40 Saudi Electric's sites in the kingdom.