Masdar awards Shams 1 Solar project contract

09 June 2010

French/Spanish joint venture will build $600m power plant

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has awarded a joint venture of France’s Total and Spain’s Abengoa to build a $600m solar power plant in the emirate’s Western Region.

The 100 megawatt plant will use concentrating solar power technology, and is expected to offset the equivalent of 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Construction work on the plant will begin in the third quarter of this year, and is expected to take two years to complete.

Investment in the plant will match the equity stake taken by each partner, said Sultan al-Jaber, chief executive, Masdar, at a press conference on 8 June. Abengoa and Total will each hold a 20 per cent stake, and Masdar will hold the remaining 60 per cent.

Bids to build the project were also submitted by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power with Spain’s Iberdrola; a German group of Man Ferrostaal and Solar Millennium; and Sener and Grupo Cobra, both Spanish.

Masdar originally selected the joint venture as the preferred bidder on the scheme in the first quarter of 2009. However, the progress of the project was temporarily stalled for a year. In September, MEED reported that five sites in the west of Abu Dhabi had been selected for the Shams 1 plant as part of plans to relocate it. However, the company has decided to build the plant at Madinat Zayed as was originally planned (MEED 12:5:10).

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