*Qatar signs agreements for building the QR1.7bn project
*Foreign partners include Total and Marubeni
Marking a giant leap in Qatar’s race towards tapping the potential of renewable energy, a number of agreements were on Sunday signed to build the QR1.7bn Al-Kharsaah Large Scale Solar PV Power Plant with a total capacity of 800MW, which equals about 10% of the country's peak electricity demand.
The agreements were signed in the presence of HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Qatar Petroleum (QP) president and CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi.
The signatories were Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) president engineer Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari, Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) general manager and managing director and Siraj Energy board of directors member Fahad bin Hamad al-Mohannadi, Marubeni Corporation president and CEO Masumi Kakinoki, and Total chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné.
The first of its kind in Qatar solar energy plant will be constructed at Al-Kharsaah area of West Doha covering a total of 10sq km. As per the agreement, Qatar's Siraj Energy, a joint venture owned by QP and QEWC, will hold a 60% stake in the project while the rest will be held by France’s Total and Japan’s Marubeni.
Kahramaa will buy electricity from Siraj1, which is owned by Siraj Energy. Marubeni will invest about 20.4% of the total project while Total will contribute a 19.6% share. The project follows a Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) model and has a term of 25 years after which the ownership will be transferred to Kahramaa.
During the first phase of the 800 MW project, 350 MW will be connected to the grid by the first quarter of 2021 while the commercial commissioning of the total capacity will start in the first quarter of 2022 in line with strategic objective set in Qatar National Development Strategy 2018 – 2022.
HE al Kaabi noted that the project is part of the energy sector’s preparation to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Al-Kuwari said 16 leading international solar power developers were prequalified while the finalists were selected after evaluating the technical efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Al-Mohannadi said that the plant is an achievement at the regional level and its construction will witness the application of the latest solutions and innovations in solar energy technology. “Dual panels will be used, automated systems will be in place to track the sun and robots deployed for cleaning the solar panels to ensure the continuity of production efficiency and reduce plant operating costs,” he explained.
Kakinoki said Marubeni is proud to be part of Qatar’s efforts to fight climate change. Patrick Pouyanné said Total is committed to producing energy that is safer, more affordable and cleaner adding that the company will bring the best technology to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
Kahramaa had announced Requests for Bids in the first half of 2019. The Corporation was supported in the project by a consortium of consultants.
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