The Az-Zour North Power Plant is located approximately 100km from Kuwait City. Credit: Sumitomo Corporation.
The Az-Zour North Power Plant was constructed adjacent to the existing Az-Zour South Power Plant.
The new power plant accounts for 10% of Kuwait’s installed power generation capacity.

The 1,500MW Az-Zour North gas-fired combined-cycle power plant is located at Az-Zour, approximately 100km south of Kuwait City, Kuwait. The power plant was built as part of the Az-Zour North Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP). The construction of the power plant and desalination plant forms the first phase of the IWPP.

The new integrated power plant and desalination plant were completed and commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The project was implemented to meet Kuwait’s plan to double its generation capacity by 2017, in a larger effort to meet an anticipated peak demand of 25GW by 2025. The power generated from Az-Zour North is equivalent to 10% of Kuwait’s installed power generation capacity.

Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) purchases the entire output of the plant under a 40-year long-term Energy Conversion and Water Purchase Agreement (ECWPA). GDF SUEZ and Sumitomo undertake the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plant on a 50:50 basis.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was awarded the engineering, purchasing and construction (EPC) contract for the power plant.

Details of Az-Zour North IWPP

“The IWPP is being developed over five phases at the Az-Zour site.”

The IWPP is being developed over five phases at the Az-Zour site. The overall project will have a total capacity to generate 4,800MW of electricity and approximately 280 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of desalinated water.

The IWPP was awarded to GDF SUEZ and its consortium partners under a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis approved by the state’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB). The consortium, comprising GDF SUEZ (17.5%), Sumitomo (17.5%) and AH Al Sagar & Brothers (5%), owns 40% of the project. The remaining 60% is owned by Kuwaiti Government entities.

The power plant was constructed on a state-owned greenfield site, adjoining the existing Az-Zour South conventional thermal power plant. The Az-Zour South plant was upgraded to a combined-cycle power plant by 2014. An existing access road links the plant to the project site.

Technology at Az-Zour North power plant

The plant is based on combined-cycle gas turbine technology using heat recovery steam generators and steam turbines. The turbines generate electricity using natural gas as primary fuel and fuel oil (gas oil) as a backup fuel. Fuel requirements of the plant are fulfilled by MEW.

“Fuel requirements of the plant are fulfilled by MEW.”

MEW delivers natural gas for the power plant operations via a new 40in pipeline constructed by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), while the gas oil is delivered via a new 16in branched pipeline, connected to a new 24in pipeline constructed by KOC.

The new power plant shares a common gas oil fuel facility, product water common header, outlet culverts and outfall, as well as connection to the 400KV substation with all other plants at the Az-Zour site.

Contractors and financiers for the IWPP

Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless received a contract from MEW to supply 4,300t of ASTM S32304 and S31803 grade duplex stainless-steel plates for the integrated power and desalination plant. Technical advisory services for the project were provided by Lahmeyer International.

The total cost of the IWPP project, including the cost of construction, is approximately $1.8bn. It was met through a $1.43bn loan from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Standard Chartered Bank (Tokyo branch), National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and other financial institutions.

The Kuwaiti Government, Sumitomo and GDF SUEZ invested the remaining amount.