Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has set a new deadline of 1 April for the contract to build a solar energy generation facility at its Umm Qudair field.

Contractors have until 1 April to submit bids for the contract to build the solar facility. The solar project will utilise photovoltaic (PV) technology for an off-grid battery system to provide power for the oil facility.

KOC is following the lead of the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) in pushing ahead with renewable energy projects. Kuwait has set a target of providing 15 per cent of its total power generation from alternative energy.

Kuwait is expected to award the contracts to build its first major renewables projects before the end of the second quarter of 2014.

The three projects are part of the planned Shagaya Renewable Energy Park, which is being developed by a joint venture of the MEW and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (Kisr).

In October, two groups submitted bids for the project to build a 10MW wind farm. Shortly after, in November, six bidders submitted prices to build a 50MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant and nine firms submitted bids for a smaller 10MW PV solar plant. The joint venture of Spain’s TSK Electronica and the local Kharafi National submitted the low bid for all three projects and is expected to win the contract to deliver the three schemes.

For the wind farm, the group submitted a price of $21m, $4m lower than the $25m price submitted by the joint venture of Japan’s Toshiba Corporation and the Alghanim International General Trading & Contracting.

For the 50MW CSP plant, the joint venture submitted a price of $358.6m, about 20 per cent lower than the second bid of $450.6m submitted by a consortium led by Spain’s Abener Abengoa. For the 10MW PV plant, the TSK Electronica/Kharafi National joint venture submitted a price of $19.8m, marginally lower than the $20.2m price submitted by a group containing Spain’s Maetel.

The projects are part of Kisr’s plans to develop pilot projects for solar and wind energy in Kuwait. In 2011, it recruited Germany’s Lahmeyer International to conduct a study to select the optimal renewable energy solutions for the state.

Prequalification applications for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance (O&M) of the three schemes in phase 1 were invited by Kisr in September 2012.