Masdar plans Abu Dhabi solar power project

19 January 2010

Joint venture partners debate type of technology to be used for scheme

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) wants to start a solar power project in the emirate using its joint venture vehicle Torresol to develop the scheme, according to the company’s head of power.

Spanish engineering group Sener holds a 60 per cent stake in Torresol while Masdar holds the remaining 40 per cent.

Masdar, Sener and the government of Abu Dhabi are holding talks over a suitable site for the project in Abu Dhabi.

The joint venture partners are also still debating what technology to use for the scheme, said Frank Wouter, Masdar head of power, at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi on 29 January.

According to Wouter, discussions over the basic details of the project are at an advanced stage and the partners are keen to start work on the scheme “as soon as possible”.

He declined to comment on a likely capacity or value for the plant.

Torresol announced on 19 January that it had secured $760m in financing from seven Spanish banks for its Valle 1 and Valle 2 solar power projects at San Jose de Valle, near Cadiz in Spain. Once the plants are completed in the last quarter of 2011, the concentrated solar panel plants will produce a total of 100MW of power. The company will repay the debt over a period of 20 years.

Torresol is also developing the world’s first commercial thermosolar plant, called Gemasolar, which produces electricity using a mix of sunlight and heat. The joint venture partners behind the company will consider this and concentrated solar technologies for the Abu Dhabi scheme.

Masdar is close to signing a deal with an engineering, procurement and construction contractor to build its planned 100MW Shams 1 solar power plant at Madinat Zayed in the west of Abu Dhabi. The project is valued at $550m by MEED Projects, which tracks project activity across the region (MEED 18:1:09).

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