Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) has received six bids for its 350MW solar photovoltaic (PV) Sweihan independent power project (IPP).

The lowest bidders, Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and China’s Jinko Solar, set a world record for the lowest solar tariff offered globally, at AED0.08888 ($0.0242) a kilowatt hour (kWh).

The bidders were:

  • Marubeni/Jinko – AED0.08888/kWh
  • EDF (France) / Masdar (local) – AED0.09304/kWh
  • Tenaga Nasional Berhad Energy Services (Malaysia) / Phelan Energy Group (South Africa) – AED0.0954272/kWh
  • RWE/Belectric (Germany) – AED0.1071978/kWh
  • JGC Corporation (Japan) / First Solar (US) / Sojitz (Japan) – AED0.11339/kWh
  • Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)/Hanwha Q-Cells/GS E&C (South Korea) – AED0.13349/kWh

The four lowest bids were below the $0.03/kWh record set in Dubai in 2015. However, the prices cannot be directly compared as the weighted levelised cost of energy (LCOE) method used for the project includes seasonal tariffs.

Some major developers among the 34 prequalifiers chose not to bid due to the expectation of very low prices. Financiers raised concerns when the Dubai 800MW solar PV plant bids were revealed, over the current level of solar pricing in the region and its sustainability for developers.

Adwea intends to sign a power purchase agreement for the Sweihan IPP and reach a financial close in the first quarter of 2016.

Germany’s Fichtner is the technical adviser for the scheme. US-based Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is the legal adviser and the UK’s Alderbrook Finance is providing financial advisory services.