The Al Layyah combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) is a 1.02GW natural gas-fired power plant currently under construction at the existing Layyah power plant site in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It represents an expansion of the Layyah power plant, with the aim of increasing power generation and the efficiency of energy production.

The project is being implemented by Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority (SEWA), a government utility, which will also operate the plant upon its completion. It will require a capital investment of around AED2.05bn ($558m).

The existing Layyah power generation facility has a capacity of 896MW. Built in multiple phases, the plant is powered by steam and gas combustion turbines. The on-site desalination plant supplies around 51 million gallons a day of water to the plant.

Al Layyah power plant location and development details

The Al Layyah CCPP will occupy an area of around 35,000m² in Al Layyah, a suburb of Sharjah. The gas-fired power plant will be developed in three phases.

The first phase has 345MW of capacity and is expected to be operational in October 2021. The second phase, with 345MW of capacity, is due to come online in January 2022, with the 336MW final phase due to follow in July 2022.

Al Layyah power plant make-up

The Al Layyah CCPP involves the construction of a natural gas-fired power plant equipped with two M701F gas turbines, a steam turbine, two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), and three generators.

The M701F gas turbine features a compressor shaft end drive that reduces the impact of thermal expansion on the shaft alignment. The turbine unit also includes a single-shaft two-bearing support rotor.

The turbine design will incorporate free-standing rotating blades in the first two stages, with the third and fourth stages to feature integral shroud blades. The turbine is protected by horizontally split casings, which allow the blades to be removed easily while keeping the rotor in place for maintenance activities.

Part of the power produced by the turbine will be used to drive the compressor, while the remaining will drive the electric generators.

The two outdoor-type HRSGs will feed the steam turbine with high-pressure steam. The steam generator unit will be an enclosed, self-ventilated, cylindrical rotor type, synchronous alternator. The cooling system will include horizontal hydrogen coolers to circulate hydrogen gas in the steam generator.

The water required for the power plant will be sourced from the sea via a pipeline system. Seawater will be drawn from an onshore pumping station and transported to a pre-treatment system, where it will be treated before it is used at the power plant.

Financing for the project

The project is being financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Societe Generale, ING Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), a Japanese state-owned insurance corporation, is providing insurance cover for the co-financed portion of the project.

Contractors involved in the project

In March 2019, a consortium of Japanese energy solutions provider Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and multi-national engineering services company Elsewedy Electric was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Al Layyah CCPP.

MHPS is responsible for the supply of the power plant’s turbine units and associated equipment, while Elsewedy Electric’s scope of work includes engineering and civil construction works, procuring balance-of-plant (BOP) equipment, and installing gas and steam turbines.

Environmental Solutions and Consultancy (ESC) prepared an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) report for the project, while EDF Energy is serving as engineering consultant.

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