Saudi Aramco participated as a sponsor at the 2017 Saudi Arabia Smart Grid (SASG) Conference and Exhibition held on December 12-14, 2017 in Jeddah, under the patronage of H.E. Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.
Saudi Aramco’s sponsorship of SASG 2017 stems from a firm commitment to its role as one of the key institutional drivers of growth in the Kingdom and a senior contributor towards achieving the aims of Saudi Vision 2030. As the Kingdom’s premier energy provider, Saudi Aramco exhibited a range of its power systems applications, smart grid technologies and renewables. A significant number of the company’s engineers attended throughout the Conference & Exhibition to present a suite of workshops. In its Exhibition booth, Saudi Aramco showcased examples of its advanced technologies and applications in producing clean energy which include the first wind turbine in Turaif and the cybersecurity gate passes implemented on some of the company’s power plants.
During the opening ceremony, Abdulhamid Al-Omair, Manager of Power Systems Engineering, underscored Saudi Aramco’s determination to operate at the cutting edge of power sector innovation and technology. Addressing the assembled experts and exhibitors he said, “When we realized that the global power sector was going to maintain its march towards digitization we decided to take a leading role in this transformation or, at the very least, seek to become a significant player in this area.” He added, “Based upon our belief in the growing impact of digitization on the power sector, Saudi Aramco is in the process of creating a control center designed to enhance and facilitate the implementation of artificial intelligence in the power sector. The system will build complex predictive models and analyze instantaneous data from all over the network. This will provide a robust and reliable forecasting and critical decision-making process which will operate in record time and pave the way for a significant uplift in operational efficiency across the network.”
Al-Omair also provided an optimistic assessment of the future integration of energy sources citing energy conservation as a major gain and the future use of 60000 smart devises across the 1000 strong electric power network. During his presentation, Al-Omair explained the precise nature of Saudi Aramco’s continued support for local power sector capabilities. This includes Saudi Aramco’s 10% contribution to power generation in the Kingdom. The company plans to develop these facilities and has started to deploy advanced technologies to increase efficiency in power production with a goal of expanding its power generation projects to reach more than 12,000 megawatts by 2020.
As part of the company’s commitment to support wider infrastructure and technology development, Saudi Aramco is promoting the use of advanced technologies, ramping up the development process and supporting partner and main stakeholders in the Kingdom. This commitment is visible through Saudi Aramco’s network of strategic partnerships both in the Kingdom and elsewhere.
In addition, Saudi Aramco has developed collaborated projects with government organizations, industrial partners, and academic establishments, including the establishment of the GCC Electrical Testing Laboratory. Elsewhere, Saudi Aramco is developing the national project of clean combustion testing alongside national partners and businesses with the goal of applying and promoting renewable technologies in a concerted effort to enhance energy efficiencies.
In similar work, Saudi Aramco worked alongside nine international and local partners to create a national power academy. This collaboration has seen Saudi Aramco develop its Power Systems and Training & Development capacity, in partnership with The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation and the Colleges of Excellence. This partnership has given rise to a new agreement with King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, the Saudi Council of Engineers, the GCC Laboratory, and Bismarck Colleges which aims to enhance the Academy’s vocational and professional training.