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Abu Dhabi’s 1.5GW solar project bid opening delayed due to COVID-19

Bidders have been notified that the bid opening excercise has been postponed due to the requirement to avoid public gatherings as a result of coronavirus

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Solar, Al dhafra

The planned public opening of commercial tariffs for the planned 1.5GW Al-Dhafra photovoltaic (PV) solar project has been postponed due to the precautions being undertaken for the corona virus covid-19.

Emirates Water & Electricity Company (Ewec) was preparing to open proposals during a public read-out on 18 March.

However, bidders have been notified that this has been postponed due to the requirement to avoid public gatherings as a result of corona virus, according to sources close to the project, according to Energy & Utilities.

In November, EWEC, which is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower) received bids for the independent power producer (IPP) project that will be constructed in the UAE capital’s Al Dhafra region, and will cover an area spanning approximately 20km2.

Ewec director of privatisation directorate Adel al-Saeedi said in January that Ewec intends to sign the power-purchase agreement (PPA) for the project with the successful bidder in the first quarter of 2020 and reach financial close in the second quarter.

Bidders submitted revised proposals on 1 March. The five bidders that submitted the original proposals in November are:

  • Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia)
  • Engie (France)
  • Jinko Solar (China) / EDF (France)
  • Marubeni (Japan) / Total (France)
  • Softbank Energy (Japan) / Eni (Italy)

It is understood the project client opened the commercial bids in December.

The successful developer will form a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) company in partnership with Ewec. The developer consortium will own up to 40 per cent of the SPV.

The project will involve the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the solar plant under a 30-year PPA.

An optional bid was also invited for the provision of battery storage, which has resulted in substantial market interest, Ewec said in a statement last year.

It is understood Ewec has an operational 108MW battery capacity that can last up to six hours.

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