ACWA Power, the Saudi, global leader in developing, constructing and operating power generation and desalination water plants in 11 countries, has won Skaka IPP PV solar project, the first utility scale Renewable Energy plant at the oil capital, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This plant is the first of what will be a series of procurement within the visionary and ambitious Saudi national renewables program aiming to produce 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2023 as a first phase. The 25-year Power Purchase contract was awarded for ACWA Power at a new world record tariff of US Cents 2.3417/kWh (8.781 halalas/kWh).
Located in Al Jouf at a site spanning over six square kilometers, Skaka plant of an investment value of c. US $ 302 million (c. SR 1,132 million) will generate 300 MW.
Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, said, "We are proud to have set yet another world record tariff for PV power, now at home and are humbled to be entrusted with the first utility scale renewable energy plant to be developed in the Kingdom, which will be the foundation of the visionary ambitious national program that seeks to maximize the utilization of renewable energy sources, as defined by the National Transition Plan 2020 and the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 ".
Abunayyan added that winning the Skaka solar project in the Kingdom is a proud to our record of successes and achievements in developing and implementing pioneering projects in the renewable energy sector in UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and South Africa. “This new project allows ACWA Power to bring to the Kingdom our considerable expertise and capabilities to ensure the delivery of this first renewable energy project at the highest global standards of quality and efficiency”, Abunayyan noted.
Abunayyan praised the impeccable standard of professionalism, transparency and integrity showed by Renewable Energy Projects Development Office (REPDO) throughout the procurement process right from prequalification through to final selection and award not only in the quality of specification and documentation but in implementing each step, to ensure the highest standards of neutrality and surplus focus on compliance and competitiveness to give confidence to all participants not only on this procurement itself but thus setting the template for all future procurements of the major programme.
Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power said, "We are very excited to have won this project, through such a rigorous transparent process at a new world record tariff as it will set the foundation for a robust and competitive market for renewable energy in the Kingdom thus enabling Saudi Arabia to take advantage of all intrinsic valuable ingredients available to become a global hub for research, development, manufacture and investment in the rapidly transforming energy sector which is pivoting to increase the renewable energy content in the fuel mix of power generation.
Thamer Al Sharhan, Managing Director at ACWA Power commented, "We are delighted to win this project, which awards the efforts of our team to give ACWA Power the lead in the renewables sector in Saudi Arabia due to the significance of this project as a starting point for a promising, national program enhancing the capabilities of the energy security system in the Kingdom and increase the local content of the power generation industry, especially those that rely on renewables, in addition to providing job opportunities for the young Saudi capabilities to qualify and equip them to operate, lead and develop one of the most important sectors on which the economic development in the Kingdom depends, namely the sector of electricity production. "
The Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources REPDO selected ACWA Power as the most competitive compliant offer from submissions made by consortiums of eight local and international bidders.