The UK’s BP plans to build a new solar power plant in Qatar, according to the company’s head of alternative energy.

Construction work on the 750KW photovoltaic plant should start in the second quarter of the year, with construction work due to be completed before July 2010, Katrina Landis, chief executive of the alternative energy division at BP, tells MEED. “With a project of this size we would normally be finished within the next two months,” she adds.

Landis declined to comment on how much the pilot scheme will cost or on the likelihood of BP working on future solar projects in the country.

Solar power construction contractors tell MEED that the UAE’s Enviromena is in talks with the UK energy major over the engineering, procurement, and construction deal to build the plant.

Landis could not divulge any further details about the scheme, but says that it is being developed with a local partner. The company had previously been in talks with state energy giant Qatar Petroleum, sources close to the matter tell MEED.

Doha says that it is in talks with a number of international energy companies over a planned $1bn solar energy generation project which could be one of the largest of its kind in the world.