Masdar and Electricite de France (EDF) are jointly bidding to build a 350-megawatt solar power plant in Abu Dhabi as the UAE diversifies electricity sources to meet burgeoning demand.
The partners plan to make the bid “as competitive” as the record-low offer that this week won Masdar the right to build a solar facility in neighbouring Dubai, Masdar chief executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday. The decline in solar panel costs helped Masdar make the lowest bid, Mr Al Ramahi said from his office in Abu Dhabi. EDF wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The UAE is among Arabian Gulf states taking advantage of falling solar prices to tap alternatives to the oil and natural gas used in the region’s power industry. The country, which imports gas to run most of its power plants, is building four nuclear generators, while also developing renewables.
Masdar’s Dubai project, which will be developed with two Spanish partners, will generate electricity at 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the CEO of utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, said Monday when announcing the award. Masdar aims to agree on $800 million in project financing for the Dubai project before the end of the year, Mr Al Ramahi said.
“There is a lot of interest from the local banking community,” he said. “We are also seeing a lot of interest from international banks.” The company will look for growth in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and North Africa, he said. “The market is growing, the interest is there and the capital is there.”
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