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Kuwait to build its first solar power plant

Contract signed for a US $3.27bn project in Al Abdaliya

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The project will cost approximately US$3.27bn.
The project will cost approximately US$3.27bn.

Kuwait will soon be home to a rather large, 280MW solar thermal power plant - located in Al Abdaliya, just southwest of the farming region of Kabad. The solar power plant will be Kuwait’s first. Current projections are that the project will end up costing somewhere around or US $3.27bn - therefore representing quite a substantial investment into the country’s energy infrastructure.

The contract for the concentrating solar power (CSP) plant - which will rely on and utilise a parabolic trough - was just recently signed, with project details being finalised only in the past couple of weeks.

According to a report from the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the Ministry of Finance’s Technical Office for Examining Development Projects and Initiatives signed a contract with HSBC, which offered consultancy for the Al Abdaliya project.

The CSP plant is the first solar power facility in the fossil fuel-rich nation. The Technical Office for Examining Development Projects and Initiatives also announced that it would float the venture for public tender under the country’s public private partnership programme (PPP).

This project represents the first time in Kuwaiti history that a private company has been involved in the state’s development strategy. Kuwait is currently aiming to get at least 15 per cent of its energy needs met via renewable energy sources by the year 2030 - with the country’s aim being to eventually move away from its dependency on oil. Not a surprising goal, nor one unique for the region - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE have all made their renewable energy goals publicly known. Saudi Arabia is currently aiming to generate 1/3 of its electricity via solar energy by the year 2032.

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