Kuwait cancels Al-Dabdaba solar plant project due to coronavirus

KUWAIT (Reuters) - The Kuwaiti cabinet cancelled plans to construct the Al-Dabdaba solar plant, which would have provided 15 percent of the oil sector’s needs of electrical energy, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The cabinet decided to cancel the decisions on the project due to the spread of coronavirus and its impacts on the global oil and financial markets,” it said after meeting on Monday.

The project, which was to be carried out by Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), was supposed to start operating in February 2021. But the proposal was extremely delayed due to bureaucratic procedures.

The lowest bid for the project was 439 million Kuwaiti dinars ($1.4 billion), Kuwait’s Alrai newspaper said on July 5.

Kuwait has plans to generate 15 percent of its energy via renewable sources by 2030.

The decision would contribute to the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) “focusing on its priorities for the coming stage and maintaining its position in the global oil markets”, the cabinet statement said.

The project was aimed at establishing a solar power plant within the Al-Shikaya Complex for Renewable Energy, which is located 100 kms (62 miles) west of Kuwait City, on about 32 square kilometres (12.4 square miles).

Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy; Editing by Dan Grebler