Masdar and Electricite de France SA are jointly bidding to build a 350-megawatt solar power plant in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates as OPEC’s fifth-largest oil producer diversifies electricity sources to meet burgeoning demand.
The U.A.E. is among Persian 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, 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 U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Oman and North Africa, he said. “The market is growing, the interest is there and the capital is there.”