Abu Dhabi is planning to prequalify more than 30 companies to participate in the bidding process for its planned 350MW solar independent power project (IPP).

According to sources close to the scheme, the request for proposals (RFP) will be issued imminently, with about 34 firms likely to be prequalified, although the final number may change slightly.

According to the sources, out of the 34, eight groups will be prequalified to bid alone as a managing member of a bidding group, with seven to be invited to bid as managing member in addition to being part of a consortium. The remaining 19 companies will be invited to bid as consortium members.

MEED reported in March that Abu Dhabi Electricity & Water Company (Adwec) had appointed Germany’s Fichtner as the technical adviser for the scheme. US-based Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has been appointed as legal adviser and the UK’s Alderbrook Finance will provide financial advisory services.

For the financial advisory position, Alderbrook saw off competition from some of the major international firms, including the UK’s EY, PwC and Deloitte, and Switzerland-based KPMG.

The planned 350MW IPP will use photovoltaic (PV) solar technology. The plant will be located near the town of Sweihan in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi.

The scheme will reassert the emirate’s position as a major regional player in the renewable energy market, since it started to trail others following the commissioning of Shams 1 in March 2013, the region’s first utility-scale solar energy plant.