Saudi Arabia to tender 4GW of renewable energy projects in 2018

16 January 2018
Photovoltaic solar and wind projects will make up the second round of the kingdom's ambitious National Renewable Energy Programme

Saudi Arabia is planning to begin the tendering process for 4GW of renewable energy projects in 2018, Turki al-Shehri, head of the Ministry of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources’ Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo), told the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi on 16 January.

Al-Shehri revealed the 4GW details for the second round for the first time, with the second round initially planned to include just over 1GW of projects. The 4GW will be split into 3.2GW of photovoltaic (PV) solar, with 800MW of wind making up the rest of the capacity to be tendered under the second round in 2018. According to the Repdo head, Riyadh is planning for about a quarter of the 4GW second round projects to be awarded before the end of 2018.

Repdo is planning to award the contract for the first project under its National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP) by the end of January, according to Al-Shehri.

In early January, Repdo shortlisted consortiums led by the local Acwa Power and Japan’s Marubeni for final negotiations on the planned 300MW Sakaka photovoltaic (PV) solar plant. The client removed the lowest bidding consortium, led by the UAE’s Masdar from the running. The Masdar consortium had submitted the much publicised bid of 1.7859$cents a kilowatt hour ($c/KWh), which had smashed previous tariffs for unsubsidised PV solar energy and was 24 per cent lower than the second lowest bid.

The local Acwa Power submitted the second lowest bid of 2.3417$c/KWh, which was also lower than the previous world record tariff at date of submission. Japan’s Marubeni submitted the third lowest bid of 2.6603$c/KWh. The client received proposals from eight bidders on 2 October for main contract on the 300MW solar scheme. Repdo has set a target for financial close to be reached by the end of February.

A special purpose vehicle, project company, will be formed to develop the project and will be 100 per cent owned by the successful bidder.

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