October 3, 2017 / 3:26 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-UAE's Masdar, EDF Energies lead bidding for Saudi solar plant

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    KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi Future
Energy Co (Masdar) and EDF Energies Nouvelles have submitted the
lowest bid to build the first utility-scale solar plant in Saudi
Arabia, results seen by Reuters show.
    The 300-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) project is in
Sakaka, the Al Jouf Province in the north of the kingdom.
    The two companies submitted a joint bid for a levelised cost
of electricity (LCOE) of 6.69 halalas/KWH ($0.0178/KWH).
Saudi-based Acwa Power came second with 8.78 halalas/kwh.
    LCOE comprises the cost of generating a megawatt-hour (MWh)
of electricity; the upfront capital and development cost; the
cost of equity and debt finance and operating and maintenance
    "All of the bids opened today (Tuesday) will now undergo
stringent technical, financial and legal evaluation," Turki
al-Shehri, the head of the Energy Ministry's Renewable Energy
Project Development Office (REPDO) told Reuters in a statement.
    He did not comment on the bids for the project, which he
said would be awarded to the bidder with the lowest LCOE which
meets all compliance criteria set out in the request for
proposals, including a 30 percent local content requirement.
    The bid evaluation will be a three-month process, with a
targeted power purchase agreement (PPA) effective day by Jan.
27, he added.
    "The LCOE quoted by the winning bidder will be the most
accurate measure of the potential related to this project. The
lowest bidder today is not guaranteed to be awarded the
project," said Shehri.
    In April, Saudi Arabia kicked off the massive renewable
programme in Riyadh by announcing the beginning of the bidding
process for the Sakaka project, which is expected to come online
by 2018-2019. The Sakaka project is estimated to cost around
$300 million.
    The winning bidders will build, own and operate the power
plants in partnership with the government.
    The government plans to generate 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of
electricity from renewable sources a year by 2023 through wind
and solar projects, involving up to $50 billion worth of
    The 9.5 GW target is expected to be exceeded, Shehri told
Reuters in August, to highlight the kingdom's long-term
commitment to green energy.
    Here is a table for the result of the bidding, which sources
say was very competitive:
 Managing    Technical   Consortium  nominal     LCOE
 member      member      members     installed   including
                                     power       ESF in
                                     rating at   hals/kwhMa
                                     PCOD in MW  sdar 
 Masdar      EDF                     300         6.697
 Acwa Power                          300         8.781
 Cobra       Canadian    -Etihad     300         12.625
 Instalacio  Solar       Afandi                  
 nes y                   -Asyad                  
 Servicios               Group                   
 Internatio                          381.330     10.393
 nal Power                                       
 JGC Corp    Trina       Taqnia      355         10.441
             Solar       Energy                  
 Marubeni                -Khaled     310         9.976
 Corp                    Ahmed                   
                         Energy and              
 Mitsui and  GCL New                 300         10.71
 Co          Energy                              
 Total                   Alfanar     300         10.721
 Solar                   Energy                  
 (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; editing by Alexander Smith and
David Evans)
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