Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is set to award the contract for the construction of the Shams 1 solar power plant by the end of this month.

Masdar selected a team of Spain’s Abengoa Solar and France’s Total as the preferred bidder on the scheme in the first quarter of 2009.

Sources close to the project have said that the French/Spanish joint venture will be formally awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the project within weeks.

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.

The progress of the project was temporarily stalled for a year. When complete, the facility will have a capacity of 100MW and will use concentrating solar power technology.