The Power of Water in Umm Al Houl

February 12, 2018 in Energy

The Umm Al Houl Combined Cycle Power Plant is a 2520 MW combined cycle cogeneration plant under construction in south Doha, Qatar. It will be capable of producing 136.5 million imperial gallons of potable water a day, making it the biggest power and water project in the country.

The project will be delivered in two phases; the first phase will be completed by the second quarter of 2017, and the plant will be finished by the final quarter 2018.

The plant will consist of two power blocks in a 3+2 configuration. Each block will contain three gas turbines which will be used to generate the steam to drive two downstream steam turbines. The turbines and generators will be supplied by Siemens under a service agreement.

There is little doubt that the Umm Al Houl plant offers impressive prospects. With a total electrical output of 2.5 gigawatts and up to 136 million imperial gallons (618 million litres) of drinking water per day, the plant will provide 24% of the nation’s installed power generating capacity. It will be able to accommodate seasonal fluctuations and ensure regular, reliable power and water supplies for major events. The long-term service agreement is designed to improve the operating capabilities, flexibility and profitability of the Umm Al Houl power plant. The long-term servicing will be able to boost efficiency, reliability and availability throughout the plant’s lifecycle. Through preventative maintenance, there will be a sustained implementation of innovative service solutions. This will contribute towards shortened lead times and on-site technical field assistance.

Qatar has partnered with Siemens to power their ambitious growth aspirations. In 2009. Siemens and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. formed a consortium completing the combined-cycle power plant unit ‘Ras Laffan B’.

Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani laid the foundation stone for the Umm Al Houl Power Plant of Qatar Electricity and Water Company in an opening ceremony. It was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs H E Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Minister of Energy and Industry,

H E Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada former energy and industry minister and ex-president of Qatar Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah government officials and dignitaries.

In 2012, Siemens placed an order for a turnkey supply of a streetcar system and intelligent solutions for power distribution. Siemens then received an order from Qatar in 2013 to power a sewage treatment system. In August 2015, the company was awarded a major order by the state-run Qatar General Water & Electricity Corporation (KAHRAMAA) for the turnkey supply of 18 electrical substations.

“Qatar is experiencing rapid industrial, economic and population growth,” said Tim Holt, CEO of Siemens Power Generation Services, Power and Gas. He said:

“Supported by our highly experienced technical experts, our strong presence in the region and in close collaboration with our customer, our advanced services and maintenance solutions will help ensure this important new power plant operates reliably for many years to come.”

An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been awarded to Samsung C&T to construct the complete facility. An EPC contract was also awarded to Hitachi Zosen for the construction of the potable water blending plant.

Nexans will provide 575km of power cables including MV and LV cables, while Doosan Hydro Technology has been awarded a contract for the water treatment and wastewater treatment system.

Yokogawa Electric Corporations will provide the control systems for the power and desalination plants, while high-pressure valves will be supplied by HP Valves.

ABB has also been contracted to supply turnkey substations to transfer the electricity generated to the grid. The substations will be at 400kV and 220kV/132kV, equipped with gas-insulated switchgear as well as advanced control and protection, and telecommunication systems.

The design and construction of the desalination plants will be completed by ACCIONA Agua, who will also be responsible for their operation and maintenance.

Lastly, Siemens has been awarded a 25-year long-term service agreement for the planned Umm Al Houl combined cycle power plant in Qatar. The customer is Umm Al Houl Power Q.S.C., a company established through a partnership among Qatar Electricity and Water Company, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Foundation and K1 Energy (a joint venture established by Mitsubishi Corporation and TEPCO & Fuel Power, Incorporated). The service agreement covers the plant’s six SGT5-4000F gas turbines, four SST5-4000 steam turbines, 10 SGen5-1200A generators including instrumentation and controls service. It also accommodates an electrical and a resident engineer, to be located on-site.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) provided a loan of $1.269bn for the development of the Umm Al Houl independent water and power plant. Deputy Director of Japan’s New Energy and Finance Department, Kenichiro Kitamura, said:

“Qatar is one of a few dominant natural gas-producers in the world and is one of Japanʼs vital suppliers. It has been 22 years since the “Agony in Doha” (a football match in 1993 that disqualified the Japanese football team from the FIFA World Cup 1994), and all the while Japan has supported Qatarʼs economic development.”

“JBIC has also been building a close relationship with the country through providing project finance to an LNG project in Qatar and a solar power generation project in Jordan which was invested in by the Qatari government and MC. It has been a very meaningful experience supporting, through this project, the enhancement of power and water supplies that are indispensable for Qatarʼs economic growth. I believe this project will significantly contribute to strengthening the multilayered relations between Qatar and JBIC, as well as the Japanese government, and to maintaining and increasing the international competitiveness of Japanese industries.”

In conclusion, Mr Kitamura said:

“We at JBIC hope to deepen our relationship with Qatar, as well as with other Middle Eastern countries in the future, and actively support the financial aspect of projects which are meaningful to both sides of the parties”

In addition, a sum of $2.538bn has been co-financed by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, the Norinchukin Bank, Qatar National Bank, and KfW IPEX-Bank.

According to JBIC, “the Qatari government was hoping for the earliest start of the project operation given the strained supply-demand balance in both energy and water”. This required prompt negotiations for the loan agreement. Deputy Director of Investments, Mr Toyoda said:

“As this is a long-term and large-scale project, we analyzed in detail risk factors which may be faced during the construction period, as well as the operation period. We structured the project step by step through persistent negotiations with UHP, each of its shareholders, and the Qatari government in order to achieve the optimal risk allocation. When the negotiation for the loan agreement went into full swing, we held a teleconference with parties concerned in Tokyo, London, Doha, and Frankfurt almost every week, with discussions once continued for ten hours. For important issues, Mr Kitamura and I flew to London several times to negotiate with counterparties, and sometimes even flew at short notice to Doha to negotiate directly with the Qatari government.”

Umm Al Houl is just one of many energy projects being launched in Qatar. The total estimated value of active oil and gas projects in the UAE has exceeded $63 billion in November 2017 alone according to the CEO of a MENA project researcher.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC Network, said that the projects account for 8% of the total estimated value of oil and gas projects in the region. The combined value of 361 active oil and gas projects in the GCC crossed $331.4 billion this month.

Avin Gidwani said:

“This reflects continuous investment by the UAE government in boosting energy output to help fuel the global economy that relies on hydrocarbon production of GCC countries”

“Even as the growth of renewables accelerates, the oil and gas industry continues to grow and is expected to remain sustainable for many years ahead.”

The capacity of Umm Al Houl will provide a sustainable source of energy for Qatar: a country that continues to invest in advancements of power.