| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

Saudi Arabia, Japan sign agreement for transmission systems in Neom

The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) signed an agreement with Japan’s Hitachi Energy agreement and Saudi Services for Electromechanical Works (SSEM) to supply three high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems to ENOWA, the utility company for NEOM in Northwest Saudi Arabia.

The agreement will provide one of the world’s first 3 GW, 525 kilovolts (kV) HVDC Light transmission systems connecting Oxagon, NEOM’s regional development, with the larger Yanbu area more than 650 kilometers away in Western Saudi Arabia.

– Construction and installation

Under the auspices and supervision of the Saudi Ministry of Energy, ENOWA organized the signing ceremony of the agreement, under which Hitachi Energy’s scope of supply includes design, engineering, procurement of HVDC technology, and commissioning of the HVDC Light converter stations.

According to the agreement, the SSEM will design and supply the AC equipment portion and perform the construction and installation.

The converter stations convert the power from AC to DC and then back to AC for integration into the receiving grid.

The converters will be sourced by and supplied to Saudi Electricity Company, which was contracted in 2022 by ENOWA to act as their EPCM to build this first HVDC system for NEOM.

– Energy storage

Hitachi Energy and ENOWA have signed an early works and capacity reservation agreement for two additional HVDC projects, each rated up to 3 GW.

Under this agreement, both companies commit to having the resources and capacity necessary to implement these two HVDC systems.

As part of a new scalable and modular regional network design targeted to seamlessly integrate future renewables and energy storage technologies in the NEOM Energy System, it is unique in size and complexity.

The cooperation will also explore opportunities to develop local competencies in the Kingdom, including ways to assemble the necessary HVDC Light components locally and sustainably.

The Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business, Niklas Persson, said that the collaboration with ENOWA will power one of the most visionary development projects of all time.

Persson added that as the world progresses towards a more sustainable future, expertise, and HVDC technologies are true enablers of the electrification of the global energy system and the transition to renewables.

For his part, the Executive Director of Grid Technology & Projects, Energy of ENOWA, Thorsten Schwarz, indicated that by securing the first capacities for this vital part of the future network within just one year since the decision to use this technology was taken, “we show ENOWA’s commitment to supporting Saudi Vision 2030 in collaboration with Saudi Electricity Company and Hitachi Energy.”

– Sustainable economy

ENOWA seeks, by its commitment to renewable energy and efficient water management, to become a global reference for industry leaders and set a benchmark for sustainable economic circular systems worldwide.

ENOWA, NEOM’s energy and water company, produces and delivers clean and sustainable energy for industrial and commercial applications.

The company benefits from NEOM’s greenfield site and strategic location in northwestern Saudi Arabia, with abundant solar and wind resources.

ENOWA will act as a catalyst and incubator for developing new, sustainable energy and water businesses while creating a robust economic sector regionally.

ENOWA is the principal shareholder in the world’s largest green hydrogen production plant set to be commissioned in 2026 and will enable NEOM to be a global green hydrogen hub.

The region is designed to be a blueprint for sustainable urban living with minimal environmental impact and enhanced livability.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat