South Helwan supercritical power plant is a 1.95GW gas and oil-fuelled power plant built in Helwan, a city situated along the Nile River and south of Cairo in Egypt.
Upper Egypt Electricity Production Company (UEEPC), a subsidiary of Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC), is responsible for the development of the project. The estimated investment in the South Helwan supercritical power plant is $2.4bn.
The project is one of the biggest thermal power plants (TPP) in Egypt and created approximately 4,000 jobs.
Construction of the TPP started in 2016. In May 2020, AC Boilers, the boiler supplier, completed the reliability run test on Unit 3.
Along with its partner EGYPTROL, AC Boilers completed the performance test of Unit 3 on heavy fuel oil in July 2020, marking the completion of the project.
South Helwan supercritical power plant make-up
The South Helwan supercritical power plant was built in an area of approximately 276,000m². It is the second TPP in Egypt to generate power using supercritical boiler technology.
The plant is equipped with three supercritical pressure steam turbine units, having a capacity of 650MW each, and three supercritical steam generation boilers. It uses natural gas as primary fuel and heavy fuel oil as a backup to achieve the rated capacity.
The power plant includes a direct, once-through cooling system, which uses water abstracted from the Nile River. The abstracted water is also used as process water in the boiler system, following pre-treatment.
The project also comprises an open boiler building, common control room, and other associated structures and facilities.
Emergency generators are installed for the safe shut down of the plant in the event of a power supply failure. The generators operate on solar oil (light fuel oil), which can also be used to operate the auxiliary boiler during start-up if required.
Power transmission from South Helwan thermal power plant
Power generated by the South Helwan power plant is transmitted to the Egyptian Unified Power System (UPS) through interconnected overhead transmission lines (OTL).
A 200km-long, 500kV double-circuit OTL transmits power from the plant through the proposed Minya East 500 route, and a 150km-long, 500kV double circuit OTL transmits power through the Bader 500 route.
Natural gas supply for South Helwan supercritical plant
A new gas pipeline has been constructed with an estimated investment of $235.5m to extend the existing gas network joint at Dahshour to the power plant. It runs along the western bank of the Nile to reach the South Helwan site.
The World Bank’s lending arm, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), provided a loan of $585m for the project.
The project also received funding from a number of financial institutions, including Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development ($193.5m), Islamic Development Bank ($450m), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development ($213.8m) and OPEC Fund for International Development ($40m).
Techint Engineering and Construction was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the mechanical balance-of-plant of the South Helwan power project.
Power Generation Engineering and Services (PGESCO) was contracted for the detailed design of the plant systems in October 2011.
PGESCO sub-contracted Hassan Allam for conducting the civil works and SIAC Industrial Construction & Engineering for site services, while Tubi Acciaio Lombarda was sub-contracted by Techint for the supply of steel pipes, fittings and flanges.
UEEPC awarded a joint contract to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toyota Tsusho Corporation for the supply of steam turbines, generators, condensers and other auxiliary equipment.
EEHC contracted AC Boilers for the supply of three supercritical gas/oil-fired boilers. AC Boilers sub-contracted Pompe Garbarino (La Garbarino) for the supply of chemical pumps, vertical in-line pumps and lateral channels.
KSB Group was awarded the contract for the supply of 27 power station pumps in November 2015, while Cimtas Pipe is the supplier of a critical piping and valves package, as well as 1,670t of pipe spools.
Arcons was engaged for the erection of steel structures and cladding works, while Acrow Integrated Construction Services was contracted for the civil engineering works.
Consolidated Contractors Company was contracted for underground utilities, foundations, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works for the buildings of the plant.