This Day in History

This Day in History (1985): Power Plant 'Retires' After 30 Years Service

Memories of Dhahran Power Plant milestones mark its shutdown ceremony.

This Day in History (1985): Power Plant 'Retires' After 30 Years Service

From the Feb. 27, 1985, edition of The Arabian Sun

Some 50 staff members and former employees gathered for one last time at the Dhahran Power Plant recently to witness its closing after 30 years of service. Sulaiman A. Alkadi, executive director of Aramco's Power Systems and managing director of the Saudi Consolidated Electric Company (SCECO), was also present.


No doubt many there recalled the opening of the plant in April 1954 and the commissioning of the first Brown-Boveri combustion gas turbine. John Studebaker and Jim Bowler, both now retired, were in charge of construction at the plant then. Four more of the Swiss-made units were installed by November 1956, bringing total plant capacity to 28 megawatts, or about 20 percent of Aramco's total generating capacity at that time.


Also remembered at the shutdown "ceremony" was the use of the plant's control room as a power dispatch center until 1972, when the power dispatcher was relocated to the Administration building. And so was the plant's incorporation into SCECO on Dec. 11, 1977, along with other Aramco facilities and 26 licensed power companies in the Eastern Province.


Caption for top photo: Making a final inspection of the control panels in the dharna Power Plant at its closing were, from left, Isam al-Bayat, Shahid M. al-Otaibi, Mohammed al-Adaily, and Abdullah Henfoosh, the last foreman at the plant. At the time of its closing, only four units of the five installed remained in operation for a total capacity of 22 megawatts, or approximately one-half percent of SCECO's interconnected system capacity. Transmission lines now bring adequate power for Dhahran's electrical needs for newer plants with up-to-date noise and pollution controls.


Also on this date

2010 An earthquake measuring 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale strikes Chile, killing more than 500 and injuring thousands, while also triggering a tsunami that strikes Hawaii shortly after


1993 Lilian Gish, longtime acress, director, and screenwriter who was known as the "First Lady of American Cinema," dies at age 99


1973 The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee in protest of the U.S. federal government


1964 The Italian government asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over


1951 The Twenty-second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, limiting presidents to two terms, is ratified


1940 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover Carbon-14


1933 Germany's parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, burns


1900 The football club Bayern Munchen is founded


1900 The British Labor Party is founded


1870 The current flag of Japan is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships


1844 The Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti


1594 Henry IV is crowned King of France


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