(Recasts with contract winners, adds details)
RIYADH, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Saudi Electricity Co hasawarded contracts for South Korea's Hyundai and Japan'sMitsubishi to build and supply equipment for a large power plantin Jeddah, SEC said on Monday.
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will build the 2,650-megawattpower plant known as Jeddah South, while Mitsubishi HeavyIndustries (MHI) will supply equipment for the oil-fired plant.
The construction of the plant means Saudi Arabia, theworld's largest crude exporter, will continue to burn millionsof barrels a week of oil for power generation for years to come.
But SEC expects the more efficient plant, to burn much lessfuel oil per unit of electricity produced.
"We are using for the first time in the kingdom supercritical boilers which have a higher efficiency, reaching up to40 percent efficiency in fuel consumption," SEC's chiefexecutive Ali bin Saleh al-Barrak told Reuters in an interview.
SEC said in a bourse statement earlier on Monday that it hadapproved the award of an 11.96 billion-riyal ($3.12 billion)contract to build the plant but did not identify the winner.
The contracts for Jeddah are expected to be signed in thenext few weeks, with contracts to build a similar-sized oilfired power plant at Shuqaiq awarded in late 2013, Barrak said.
Technical bids for the 2,600 MW Shuqaiq, a super criticalfuel oil plant fitted with sulphur removing technology, are duein the first quarter of next year, Barrak said.
The state-run company also plans to spend around $35 billionon high voltage power lines, with another $25 billion spent ondistribution networks over the next 10 years.
SEC has an installed capacity of 54,000 MW and will addaround 4,000 MW over the next 12 months to help meet risingdemand, with another 8,000 MW of capacity to be added in 2014.
(Reporting By Reem Shamseddine and Angus McDowall; editing byDaniel Fineren and James Jukwey)
Keywords: SAUDIELECTRICITY PLANT/AWARD