The countries in the Middle East had just got very rich due to the jump in oil prices.
So they wanted electricity--but quick!
Big 10-15, 000 hp diesels normally used on ships were installed in the desertys--usually 4 or 6 of them in tandem and each directly connected to an alternator.
From bare desert to producing electricity in about 6 months.
One of the interesting aspects was what was called the "black start".
With everything installed and no electricity etc how did you get the engines going?
It was called the black start ladder.
Firstly a small Honda type generator would be started by rope.
This generated electricity to charge the batteries on a diesel engine compressor--typically using a 450 hp Cummins engine.
The compressed air would then be used to start the big diesels--which were typically V-16s.
Brings back a lot of memories.
My personal involvement was in the cooling systems.Each engine had 5 separate systems---for jacket water, valve cage water, injector cooling water, lubricating oil and turbocharger air cooling using an air to air system.
Each engines cooling systems used horizontal cooling surfaces with fans underneath powered by 50 hp electric motors.
Each engines coolers would take up about 1/4 acre of ground space.