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Saudi Arabia launches bids for 700MW RE projects

Saudi Arabia has stayed true to its promise of renewable energy push in the Kingdom by launching the first stage of two solar power tenders under the national renewable energy programme (NREP)

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Saudi Arabia has stayed true to its promise of renewable energy push in the Kingdom by launching the first stage of two solar and wind power tenders under the national renewable energy programme (NREP).

A request for qualification (RFQ) has been issued for companies interested in bidding for 700 megawatts of solar and wind energy projects.

The process is being managed by the ministry of energy, industry and mineral resources through the newly created Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO).

The request for qualification documents, confirm that the tender will be carried out on a build, own, operate basis with 100% ownership for the winning bidder and no mandatory government stake.

The RFQ will choose companies that are pre-qualified, or able to move on to the next stage, which is the Request for Proposals slated for April.

"This marks the starting point of a long and sustained programme of renewable energy deployment in Saudi Arabia, that will not only diversify our power mix but also catalyse economic development and support long-term prosperity in line with Vision 2030 goals, which include creating a new renewable industry and support the build-up of this promising sector," Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister was quoted by The National.

The Kingdom has had several attempts at kick-starting solar deployment through myriad organisations. The switch to an independent power producer (IPP) model, which has worked well for other Gulf neighbours could mark a seachange in the country’s solar fortunes, according to PV-Tech.

The selected firms will gain access to the site assessments that have been carried out for both the Sakaka and Midyan areas, which will house 300MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 400MW wind project respectively. The deadline for applications is 20 March at 1500 KSA time

For any company whose pre-qualification application is unsuccessful as either a manager or technical role in the first round will still remain eligible to participate in future projects under the NREP, which will ultimately target 9.5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023.

"It is our goal to make the national renewable energy programme among the most attractive, competitive and well-executed government renewable energy investment programmes in the world, and we have all the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure that is the case," Mr Al Falih said.

A 100MW tender was launched by the Saudi Electric Company in June 2016.

 

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