A Japanese company has reported that it will work on one of the largest solar power projects in the Middle East.
Marubeni recently announced plans of developing a 1.18 gigawatts solar power project in the United Arab Emirates. According to a press release issued by the Japan-based company, the project will come up in the emirate of Abi Dhabi.
The project will come up in eastern Abu Dhabi over an area of 7.8 square kilometres. Final agreements for the project are expected to be signed very soon with commissioning scheduled for 2019. Marubeni estimates the total project cost at $868 million with various stakeholders contributing towards funding the project.
Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority will arrange for 60% finance through debt (likely at very low interest rates), Marubeni and JinkoSolar will provide for 20% of the funding each.
It should be noted that Abi Dhabi had awarded a 350 megawatts solar PV project to a joint venture of Marubeni and China’s JinkoSolar at record tariff of 2.42¢/kWh last year. The tariff was the lowest-ever quoted for a solar power project globally at that time. The 350 megawatts tender was believed to be the first phase of 1,000 megawatts solar park.
It is not, however, clear if the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority has offered to entire solar power capacity of the planned solar power park for development to JinkoSolar-Marubeni joint venture. There has been such a precedent in the country.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) had offered 100 megawatts capacity in the second phase auction of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The auction was won by ACWA Power at record-low tariff of 2.99¢/kWh. DEWA subsequently offered additional 100 megawatts to ACWA Power for development at the same tariff. ACWA Power is now developing a total of 200 megawatts capacity at the solar power park.