Firmly Established in the Desert Sand

First Large Generator Set for Saudi Arabia

1980_Anlage_AL_JandalA Special MWM Moment of Norbert Eisinger

A plant and genset builder does not often get the opportunity to see the results of his work at the place of deployment. But let me tell you the story from the beginning.

In all innocence, a project engineer sold three generator sets with an electrical output of 4,000 kW each to a company in Saudi-Arabia. The purchase order was placed under the condition that it would not be necessary to build a deep fundament on site. But obviously, the engineer had greatly underestimated the size of the ordered product. It turned out to be the largest generator set built by MWM to date, with a transport weight of 85,000 kg.

Even within the company, transporting the giant was a difficult task. Once the three large generator sets had been completed in the factory, it soon became evident that the shipment to the customer would involve substantial difficulties.

A major logistical feat: From the factory, the generator sets were transported to the Rhine port with a police escort. With the help of the Mannheim municipal utility provider, various obstacles were overcome, such as trees, traffic lights, and tram overhead lines. From the port in Jeddah, the destination in Dumat al-Jandal was still far away—almost 1,500 km over rugged terrain.

Following the go-live, a vibration problem was encountered. Together with two colleagues, I traveled to the site to inspect and resolve the issue. We were surprised to see how orderly and well-maintained the plant in Dumat al-Jandal was. The cause of the vibration issue was identified and eliminated.


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Photo credit

Photograph 1: Dumat al-Jandal in northwestern Saudi Arabia, Norbert Eisinger, 1980
Photograph 2: Large MWM TBD 511 V12 generator set, Norbert Eisinger, 1980