Latest chapter to provide clean energy to 320K residences, will reduce 1.6M tonnes of carbon emissions annually

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) on Sunday said it had completed financing for its 950MW fourth-phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Al Maktoum Solar Park from around a dozen local and international banks. 

Called the Noor Energy 1 project, the fourth phase of the solar park was launched in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and China’s Silk Road Fund. 

The lending group to the project include Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Everbright Bank, China Minsheng Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Commercial Bank International, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Natixis, Standard Chartered Bank and Union National Bank. 

In addition, Bank of China, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mashreq Bank and Union National Bank have provided long-term loans. 

Upon its completion, the solar park will produce 5,000MW by 2030 with investments totalling Dh50 billion. 

Quoting sources, Reuters had earlier put the size of financing at Dh7.34 billion ($2 billion). 

Led by Dubai and the UAE, the Gulf region is investing billions of dirhams in generating renewable energy. As per latest available data, the region had some 146GW of installed power capacity, of which renewable energy accounted for less than one per cent – 867 megawatts. The UAE accounted for 68 per cent of the total installed capacity in 2018, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of Dewa, said this financing was the largest equity bridge loan in the region. 

“This phase is the largest single-site investment project in the world, using both concentrated solar power [CSP] and photovoltaic solar technologies based on the independent power producer model with investments up to Dh15.78 billion. It will use 700MW of CSP: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex and 100MW from a solar tower; and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels,” he added. 

The fourth phase will provide clean energy to 320,000 residences and will reduce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The project, which will cover an area of 44 sqkm, is the world’s lowest CSP levelised cost of electricity of 7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour and the lowest levelised cost of electricity for photovoltaic technology of 2.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. 

Al Tayer said the solar power projects currently operational in the solar park have a capacity of 413MW. “Dewa has three more projects under implementation with a capacity of 1,550MW,” added Al Tayer. 

Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, chairman of Acwa Power; Tan Li, Consul-General of China in Dubai; Erik Rovina, Commercial Counselor to the Spanish Embassy in the UAE; Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of Acwa; Abdul Hamid Al Muhaidib, executive managing director of Noor Energy 1; Waleed Salman, executive vice-president of business development and excellence at Dewa; and other officials from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and China attended the event to announce the financial closing. 

– waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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