Kuwait awards $385m solar contract

14 September 2015

Project will be country’s largest renewable energy project to date

  • Consortium of Spain’s TSK Electronica and the local Kharafi National win the contract
  • Award goes to low bidder
  • Plant expected to come online in late 2017

The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (Kisr) has awarded a $385m contract to a consortium of Spain’s TSK Electronica and the local Kharafi National to build a 50MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant at its Shagaya renewable energy park.

The TSK-led group had submitted the low bid for the scheme, and had been expected to win the contract. The solar plant is scheduled to come online in December 2017.

Speaking at the Global Solar Leaders Summit in Dubai on 14 September, Suhaila Marafie, the director of research and studies for Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW), said the CSP deal had been signed two days previously.

The scheme, which will be Kuwait’s largest solar project, was retendered in December 2014, after bids were originally submitted in November 2013.

Kisr, which is developing the pilot scheme in partnership with the MEW, received bids from six bidders in November 2013, and in March 2014 Kuwait’s Central Tenders Committee (CTC) approved the award of the deal to the fourth-lowest bidder, Spain’s Cobra, which had submitted a price of KD139.1m ($494.3m).

The TSK/Kharafi joint venture had submitted a low bid of KD101.3m, and had been expected to win the contract. However, the first three bids were disqualified from the evaluation process, and the CTC approved Cobra’s bid.

According to sources in the country, the client’s reluctance to award the deal to the fourth-lowest bid has resulted in the retendering of the scheme.

After signing the substation project and 34 kilometres of overhead lines in 2014, Kisr inked deals for a 10MW photovoltaic (PV) plant and a 10MW wind farm in February and March this year respectively, said Salem al-Hajraf, head of energy research at Kisr. “Today we concluded four years of effort to bring this initiative to reality, and will officially start groundbreaking on the initial contract on the Shagaya renewable energy park.”

The 50MW CSP scheme is the largest of three projects that Kisr has tendered and awarded to date for its Shagaya development. In February this year, Kisr signed a contract with the TSK/Kharafi National joint venture to build the 10MW photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, In March, it appointed a consortium of Spain’s Elecnor and the local Alghanim International General Trading & Contracting to build the 10MW pilot wind scheme.

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