Project Spotlight

Saudi Arabia — System Improvement Project

In January 2010, MHI started a 3-year contract with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. SEC is the sole provider of electricity with an annual growth rate of about 8 to 10 per cent each year. The annual peak load is over 60,000 MW or about 12 times that of Manitoba Hydro. 

MHI’s initial contract was for operational performance improvements with SEC and focused on the operation of the transmission portion of the power system. The successes in operations led to additional contracts in maintenance, corporate planning, and distribution. 

Today, MHI provides utility specialists to work directly with Saudi staff in a training and mentoring role. Since 2010, MHI has provided 82 staff members that have lived in Saudi Arabia, with nearly 39,000 man-days inside the country. All staff members have utility experience in similar roles, resulting in relevant and meaningful transfer of knowledge.

“MHI is fully committed to working in partnership with SEC and National Grid SA,” says Shahid Mohammad (Director of Operations, Middle East). “We continue to provide assistance to move them towards being a world-class organization within a changing and uncertain market.”

Key Achievements of SEC and MHI

  • Updated the operating procedures and unified processes across all control centres. The experienced control centre staff provided hands-on training and mentoring for dispatchers, which enhanced the overall operation.
  • Developed an online training and certification program for dispatchers. All shift staff completed certification exams and 40 courses on all aspects of operations.
  • Developed a program to have Saudi dispatchers work in the Manitoba Hydro System Control Centre for a short period, where staff learned the importance of teamwork.
  • Power line technician training was also offered in Saudi Arabia and in Canada to provide hands-on training in rigging, climbing, tower rescue, and conductor stringing (300 linemen are taking 3 weeks of training in Canada over 3 years).