BE2C2 Report — Saudi Arabia’s very first commercial wind power project took a major step forward with the erection of wind turbine in its northeast wind corridor.
The wind tower is 84m high with 60m long blades and a nacelle (turbine housing unit) weighing 83 tons.
The wind project which is located in Turaif in the northeast of the Kingdom, has a total weight of 410 tons and will generate power for a bulk plant facility operated by Saudi Aramco.
The project is an important first step for wind energy in the oil-rich Kingdom, and for Aramco’s ambition to deliver 9,500MW of renewable energy as part of Vision 2030 aimed at transforming the Kingdom’s oil-based economy into non-oil with focus on renewable energy for local usage and for its possible export to the region.
For the project in Turaif, the transport of the 410 tons of wind turbine components from the industrial port of Jubail in the west to the site in the northeast was a particular challenge.
The three blades, the nacelle, and the tower sections were transported in a convoy of tractor vehicles and special trailers over a distance of 1,250km in less than six days.
After the tower segments were assembled, the 83-ton nacelle was installed at its operating height of 84m. Together with the installation of the blades, the erection of the entire wind turbine took just two days.
The high wind speeds in the region complicated the planning process, but the team belonging to Dammam-based heavy haulage and heavy lift contractor Gulf Haulage Heavy Lift Company (GHHL) completed the first project to erect a wind turbine in Saudi Arabia comfortably and safely.
Aramco has plans already in place for a wind power project with a total capacity of 300MW to 400MW, the ConstructionWeek reports.
In a related note, the Kingdom’s Minister of Energy is holding a two-day renewable energy forum on April 17 and 18 in the capital, one of the sponsors shared on social media.
The Kingdom’s plan for renewable energy targets investments on public-private partnership basis of around $50 billion during the next 5 years.