French utility Engie and Moroccan energy company Nareva have partnered to build a photovoltaic power plant in the Gafsa governorate, 350km south of Tunisia’s capital, Tunis.

The two-company consortium was contracted after it won an international tender launched by the Tunisian energy ministry and Societe Tunisienne de l’Electricite et du Gaz (STEG), the country’s national electricity and gas company.

The solar power plant will extend over an area of 400 hectares producing 120MWp and, over a period of 20 years, the Engie and Nareva consortium will be responsible for every aspect of the project, from design to maintenance.

Nareva CEO Saïd Elhadi said: “We are delighted to develop this solar project that we have won with our partner Engie in Tunisia. Nareva is honoured to contribute to the deployment of the Tunisian Solar Plan which is a cornerstone of the country’s energy transition policy.”

The Gafsa plant will become the country’s first Independent Power Producer project, where the energy produced from privately owned electricity generators is sold to third parties like utilities and governments. The project will also be part of a development programme sponsored by the renewable energy sector which aims to achieve 30% of Tunisia’s renewable energy by 2030.

Engie Africa CEO Yoven Moorooven said: “Tunisia has engaged in an ambitious plan to build new renewable power generation capacity with an objective to install 3800 MW by 2030. The current program has shown very competitive results for the country and we are proud to be part of it.”

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Power Technology has approached STEG and the Tunisian energy ministry for comment.