ACWA bids for $1bn Dubai so­lar project

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Lon­don, UK - So­lar plants that sup­ply elec­tric­ity at com­pet­i­tive prices af­ter the sun goes down are about to be­come a re­al­ity in the Mid­dle East, ac­cord­ing to one of the re­gion’s big­gest de­vel­op­ers of power plants.

ACWA Power In­ter­na­tional CEO Paddy Pad­manathan con­firmed his com­pany is the low bid­der on a US$1bn project that will feed elec­tric­ity to the grid for the Dubai Wa­ter & Elec­tric­ity Au­thor­ity be­tween 4pm and 10am. More such plants are likely to fol­low be­cause Chi­nese com­pa­nies will start driv­ing down the cost of equip­ment, he said.

The 200MW Dubai con­tract, which runs for 25 years, will harness a two decade old tech­nol­ogy called con­cen­trated-so­lar, or so­lar ther­mal.

ACWA, which is based in Riyadh, Saudi Ara­bia, bid 9.45 cents per kilo­watt-hour, al­most cut­ting in half the cost of con­cen­trated-so­lar power. Each of the bid­ders were also asked to sub­mit an al­ter­na­tive ten­der. The off­taker will choose be­tween the bid and the al­ter­na­tive bid, so the price may be even lower.

ACWA has also built sim­i­lar projects in Morocco’s Noor so­lar com­plex and South Africa’s desert. One in each na­tion are op­er­at­ing, with two more in Morocco and one in South Africa cur­rently un­der devel­op­ment. ACWA is also seek­ing to build two more projects in Morocco in the Midelt area, which will have a joint ca­pac­ity of 350MW.

“I’m also hop­ing to build one in Saudi,” Pad­manathan said.

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