• Local firm submits low bid for advisory role
  • If completed, 800MW photovoltaic (PV) solar project would be the world’s largest single-phase solar scheme
  • Project is part of Dubai’s ambitious 2,600MW solar energy target by 2030

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has received bids for the advisory services contract for the proposed project to develop the 800MW third phase of its Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum solar park in Dubai.

Dewa received proposals from nine companies on 3 May for the consultancy deal.

The low bid of AED2.2m ($599m) was submitted by the local EM Green Contracting & General Maintenance, which was 50 per cent lower than the second-lowest price of AED4.4m, submitted by Germany’s MW Decon.

The full list of bidders and prices is:

  • EM Green Contracting & General Maintenance (UAE): AED2.2m
  • MW Decon (Germany): AED4.4m
  • PwC (UK): AED6.495m
  • Deloitte (UK): AED6.532m
  • HSBC (UK): AED7.3m
  • EY (UK): AED8.7m
  • KPMG (Netherlands): AED10.4m
  • Utico (UAE): AED11.2m

Like the first two phases, the 800MW third phase will use photovoltaic (PV) solar technology. The third phase will be developed as an independent power project (IPP). If developed as planned in one stage, it will be the largest single-phase solar scheme in the world.

According to sources close to the project, Dewa is expected to issue tenders in July-August this year.  

The ambitious size of the third phase is in line with Dewa’s announcement in February that it was planning to increase the proposed capacity of the solar park to 2,600MW by 2030, from the previous target of 1,000MW. The decision to increase its solar energy targets followed the success of the state utility’s first IPP for the second phase of the solar scheme, under which a world-record low bid was received to develop the project.

The second phase had been originally tendered as a 100MW IPP, but due to the competitive price submitted by the low bidder, Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, Dewa decided to double the capacity and develop a 200MW project. Acwa Power submitted the record-low tariff price of 5.98 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) in November, and was selected as preferred bidder in January on an alternative Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) bid of 5.85 cents a kWh.

On 29 March, Dewa signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Acwa Power for the second phase. Spain’s TSK is also participating in the consortium, and the US’ First Solar will provide solar panels. For the second phase of the solar park, Dewa appointed the Netherlands’ KPMG as financial adviser and the UK’s London Norton Rose Fulbright as legal adviser in March 2014.

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