On 21 December 2006, the first phase of the Wärtsilä power plant in Riyadh Cement Company, located 75km southwest of Riyadh, was inaugurated by Dr. Nasser F. Akeel, General Manager and Member of Board of Riyadh Cement Company.
In summer 2005, Riyadh Cement Company contracted with Wärtsilä for a 45 MW heavy fuel oil power plant to serve as captive power plant supplying electricity to the 5000 tons-per-day cement plant. Wärtsilä has also been awarded an operations and maintenance contract for the power plant for a period of 3 years.
After receiving a short tour of the power plant, Dr. Akeel started the first phase of the power plant using the Wärtsilä Operating Interface System in the control room. Mr. Nasseruddin Siddiqui, Assisstant General Manager for Projects for Riyadh Cement was also present at the ceremony. Wärtsilä was represented by Mr. Khalid Abuzahra, General Manager, Sales for Power Plants. The ceremony continued with signing the handing-over-certificate for the first phase, as well as signing the take-over-certificate announcing the start of operation and maintenance for 3 years.
The power plant for Riyadh Cement Company has a total generating capacity of 45 MWe provided by six 20-cylinder Wärtsilä 32 engined generating sets. All equipment for the power station and construction works were undertaken by the local Wärtsilä Power Contracting Co. Ltd. This is the first installation for the Wärtsilä 20V32 engine in Saudi Arabia and they were chosen for Riyadh Cement power plant because of their benefits of high efficiency, low exhaust emissions, high reliability and low maintenance requirements. Wärtsilä Power Contracting Company could also meet the project requirements for completion of the first phase, of around eighteen months from contract signing, and for a single supplier of all station equipment.
The second and third phases of the power plant for Riyadh Cement company are due to start commercial operation by the end of February and mid of April 2007 respectively.
The Wärtsilä 32 engines are very popular for industrial and local power plants in countries having supplies of heavy fuel oil. Wärtsilä has at the moment more than 8 GW of power plants based on the 32 engine installed all over the world.