Abu Dhabi plans to appoint developer for the 2GW solar independent power producer plant project in Al-Dhafra in the first quarter.

The target award date for the planned 2GW Al-Dhafra solar independent power producer (IPP) project in Abu Dhabi remains unchanged, according to an Emirates Water & Electricity Company (Ewec) spokesperson.

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.
MEED reported last month that Ewec had requested a second round of clarifications from the teams that submitted a bid for the contract.

The bidding teams are understood to have responded to the clarification request and submitted revised commercial proposals on 1 March.

Ewec received five bids on 21 November for the scheme. The five teams 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.

According to Ewec, the planned solar plant will cover an area of 20km² and provide electricity to up to 110,000 households.

In April, MEED reported that Ewec had prequalified 24 companies for the planned photovoltaic (PV) solar project. The client had earlier received expressions of interest from 48 firms.

The project will be Abu Dhabi’s second major PV solar scheme and is expected to enter commercial operation by April 2022.

Solar landmark

In February 2017, the emirate awarded a contract to a consortium led by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and China’s Jinko Solar to develop a 1,177MW PV solar IPP at Sweihan, at the time the world’s largest single-site solar project.

The Sweihan solar project, popularly referred to as Noor Abu Dhabi, reached commercial operation in late June last year.

According to Ewec CEO Othman al-Ali, the first project was delivered on time and within budget.

It is understood that Ewec is planning to develop a 1.5GW PV solar project for its third major PV scheme.

Ewec could issue the request for prequalification (RFP) for the consultancy contract for PV3 this month, a source with knowledge of the project has told MEED.

The solar projects form part of the UAE’s target of 50% clean energy by 2050, of which 44% will come from renewable energy.

This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source of business intelligence about the Middle East. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here.