PPAs signed for seven solar power projects in Saudi Arabia
Latest deals under kingdom's renewable energy programme will have total capacity of 2.97GW
21 Apr 2021 | Michael Marray

Saudi Arabia has announced the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for seven solar photovoltaic projects with a total capacity of 2,970MW in the latest batch of projects under its National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP). The projects are located in Al Madinah, Sudair, Qurayyat, Shuaibah, Jeddah, Rabigh, and Rafha.

The Marubeni-led consortium developing the Rabigh solar project in Saudi Arabia has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to China Energy Engineering Group Guangdong Power Engineering Co, a subsidiary of Energy China. The value of the contract is approximately 1.2 billion yuan (US$184 million), according to Energy China.

South Rabigh Renewable Energy Company (SRREC), the project company, was established by Marubeni together with Al Jomaih Energy & Water Company. It will build, own and operate a 300MW solar PV plant in Makkah Province's Rabigh Industrial City, about 150 kilometres from Jeddah, in the kingdom's western region. The plant will be built on land leased by the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (Modon).

SRREC recently signed a 25-year PPA with Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC).  

Rabigh is Marubeni’s first solar PV project in the kingdom. It will own 50.1% of the project company, with Al Jomaih holding the other 49.9%.

In mid-March SRREC signed a US$157 million loan agreement with Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Mizuho Bank and Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation.

MENA projects

Marubeni owns stakes in power projects across 19 countries, including Japan, for a total net capacity of about 12GW. Rabigh is Marubeni’s fourth large-scale solar PV project in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, following the commercial operation of the Sweihan Solar PV IPP Project (1,177MW) in the United Arab Emirates and the Amin Solar PV IPP Project (105MW) in Oman, as well as the PPA signing for the Al Kharsaah Solar PV IPP Project (800MW) in Qatar. The four projects will  have a total generation capacity of nearly 2GW.

Marubeni says the MENA region has procured numerous large-scale solar PV projects over the last several years, and the trend is projected to continue.

On April 14 the renewables arm of Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro’s Power Transmission & Distribution Business announced it has won the turnkey EPC contract for a 300MW solar power plant in Jeddah.

The project is being developed by a consortium made up of Masdar, EDF Renewables and Nesma Company. They were awarded the project by Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) under a design, finance, build and operate model.

The project is in Third Jeddah Industrial City, about 50km southeast of Jeddah. It has reached financial closure after the signing of a PPA, and notice has been given to Larsen & Toubro to proceed with the construction.

On April 9 Larsen & Toubro announced it has also signed a turnkey EPC contract with the consortium of ACWA Power and Water and Electricity Holding Company, a subsidiary of the Public Investments Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF), for the Sudair solar PV project in Riyadh Province.

The solar power project is one of the largest in the world, with a 1.5GW capacity and a total cost of around US$906 million.

Vast programme

Larsen & Toubro is an Indian multinational engaged in EPC projects, high-tech manufacturing and services with over US$21 billion in revenue. It operates in over 30 countries worldwide.

Saudi Arabia's NREP, part of the kingdom's Vision 2030 strategy, has a target capacity of 58.7GW. Around 70% of the projects are assigned to PIF, while REPDO is undertaking competitive tendering for the remaining 30%.

The Sudair project is led by ACWA Power, in which PIF holds a 50% stake. PIF has partnered with Badeel, a 100%-owned portfolio company, for the project.

It is located in Sudair Industrial City, and has an investment of around 3.4 billion Saudi riyals (US$906 million). The project has recorded the second lowest cost globally for a solar PV electricity production at 1.239 US cents per kilowatt-hour.

On April 8 Sudair signed a 25-year PPA with the Saudi Power Procurement Company. The project is expected to have an initial commissioning in the second half of 2022. 

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