Al Ezzel: a first in private power for Bahrain

In July this year, Bahrain’s Ministry of Finance and National Economy awarded the contract for the 1000 MW Al Ezzel combined cycle power plant. The project, located in the capital Manama is the first independent power project under the Government of Bahrain

Growth in power demand in Bahrain currently stands at 7 per cent annum and is expected to remain strong, driven by the Kingdom’s increasing population and rapid economic development. In view of this increasing energy demand, the Kingdom of Bahrain decided to contract its first power plant on a build-ownoperate(BOO) basis through an independent developer.

The contract was awarded to Al Ezzel Power Company (AEPC) of Bahrain after an international tendering procedure, which saw five bidders shortlisted.AEPC is a company jointly established by Tractebel EGI, a business division of Belgium-based Suez; and Kuwaitbased Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC). Tractebel EGI and GIC each hold 50 percent of the project.

The approximately $500 million project will sell electricity to the Ministry of Water and Electricity (MEW) Bahrain under a 20- year power purchase agreement commencing on May 1, 2007.

Siemens Power Generation has beenContracted to engineer, construct andcommission this plant on a turnkey basis. With the construction contract awarded in July 2004, the Al Ezzel power plant is scheduled to deliver more than 470 MW of electrical energy by April 2006 and more than 950 MW by May 1, 2007.

To support these operational requirements, Siemens selected an arrangement of four gas turbines in connection with two steam turbines with supplementary firing of the HRSGs to support the final plant output of 950 MW and simple cycle capability of the gas turbines to support the early required power output of 470 MW.

Plant details

The Al Ezzel combined cycle power plant is located at Al Hidd Industrial Area about 3 km south of Bahrain International Airport and the site has an elevation of approximately 2.2 m above sea level (high astronomical tide). The site consists of reclaimed land and has the advantages of allowing direct sea water cooling due to its proximity to the sea and ready availability of gas (the sole energy source) due to existing installations near the site.

Under its turnkey EPC contract, Siemens will supply four V94.2 gas turbines, two steam turbines, associated generators, the plant control system and various elements of the electrical installations. In addition, through its specialized subcontractors for this project, it will supply four supplementary fired heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), interconnecting piping, civil works and main cooling water systems.

The plant consists of two blocks of two gas turbines and one steam turbine each.

The output of the plant at the electrical delivery point, for the early power period will be achieved through the most recent combined cycle improvements to deliver more than 470 MW at site conditions of 45à‚ºC (ambient air temperature) and 80 per cent (ambient air relative humidty). The output of the plant at the electrical delivery point for the commercial operation period will be more than 950 MW.

A 3-D model of the Al Ezzel combined cycle power plant 45
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Exhaust heat from the gas turbines can be vented to the atmosphere directly in open cycle operation, but the plant is expected to be operated in combined cycle operation for the majority of the time.

The V94.2 model is a heavy-duty gas turbine designed for reliable, efficient and flexible operation. The turbines feature silo combustion chambers with dry low NOx capability specifically equipped for gas firing.

More than 150 Siemens turbines of similar design with ratings of more than 160 MW are in operation, have been shipped or ordered worldwide. Over 5.5 million operating hours of experience have been accumulated, demonstrating their outstanding reliability under diverse operating conditions.

With a number of orders received in 2004 (LNTP/NTP) in Saudi Arabia, Oman; Yemen, Qatar and Bahrain, Siemens Power Generation has been very successful in the Middle East Area. Much of this success can be attributed to Siemensà‚¿ ability to support the customers to find the best power plant solution to enable either utilities, IPPs or IWPPs to build, operate and maintain their power station on a very reliable basis.

Al Ezzel will be designed and constructed according to the strict directives and local regulations, to minimize the impact to the local population, the environment and the plant staff. Dry low NOx burners were specified for the gas turbines.

Noise requirements are included in the design in line with the overall philosophy for the Al Hidd industrial area development and with regard for the residential housing area not far from the site.

Although the plant is based on the Siemens reference power plant concept, with the benefits of a standard base design, it has to be to adapted to specific local conditions which accommodate individual site-specific and customerspecific requirements. In particular there is the need to enable simple cycle operationat an early stage while large parts of the plant are still under construction.

Teh Al Taweelah combined cycle power project in the UAE
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Special provisions to meet soil conditions need to be incorporated in the design of the buildings and in the equipment fixings. Due to soil conditions around 8000 stone column piles approximately 8.6 m long and about 80 cm in diameter are to be installed.

Special attention has to be paid to the need to allow for a water intake from the western sea shore which is about 800 m away from the site. The sea water is channelled through underground culverts underneath an existing main road and existing sensitive services to the main cooling water pump house located on the main power plant site.

Four main cooling water pumps deliver the water to the titanium tubed condensers and to the seal pit, from where the water is drained through natural gravitation along a nearly 3 km long underground outfall structure to the eastern sea shore.


The Bahrain Ministry of Finance and National Economy (MOFNE) awarded the BOO contract to AEPC in July 2004. AEPCin turn awarded a Limited Notice to Proceed to Siemens in August, with a full release in November of the same year.

AEPC, through the establishing partner Suez-Tractebel, provides ample experience and capability to operate and maintain the plant once it has been commissioned.

V94.2 during assembly. Four of these will be installed at Al Ezzel
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At the same time and through its establishing partner Gulf Investment Company, it has excellent access to project financing. Tractebel Engineering will act as Ownerà‚¿s Engineer to Al Ezzel Power Company during the construction phase of the project. The electricity produced by the plant will be sold to the Ministry of Electricity and Water, which will be responsible for distribution and billing to the consumers.

Power Company during the construction phase of the project. The electricity produced by the plant will be sold to the Ministry of Electricity and Water, which will be responsible for distribution and billing to the consumers.

The current total installed capacity in Bahrain is around 1800 MW, while the peak demand last summer reached 1535 MW. The production capacity will be enough to meet the demand for two years and Bahrain may experience a power shortage by 2006.

However, the situation will be eased when the Al Ezzel power plant comes on stream as a part of the Bahrain governmentà‚¿s privatization programme. To meet Bahrainà‚¿s increasing energy demand, the plant is planned and designed to deliver its first commercial power by early 2006 through its four gas turbines in simple cycle operation.

Following commercial power production during the summer peak, commissioning of the combined cycle plant is scheduled for the winter period 2006/2007, a period during which the gas turbine power is not available to the grid.

In early 2007 the full plant output of 950 MW is scheduled to be commercially available to the grid. To meet this demanding schedule, site soil improvement activities are scheduled to start in late 2004.

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