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KSA Establishes Specialized Office to Develop Renewable Energy Projects | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, Austria, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Riyadh- Saudi Arabia will invite international and local companies to bid for renewable energy projects in April, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday.

Al-Falih, speaking at a news conference in Riyadh, said the projects would include two new solar and wind power plants with a capacity to produce 700 megawatts of power within the first phase of the national program for renewable energy.

Under the national program, 3.45 gigawatts of renewable energy is planned to be generated by 2020 and 9.5 gigawatts by 2023 in line with “Saudi Vision 2030.”

The ministry said that it had established a new Renewable Energy Development Office to oversee the national program, including its implementation and review of its executive plan and schedules.

The office will report to the Renewable Energy Supervisory Committee, which is chaired by the Minister of Energy.

It will incorporate the relevant authorities and commissions in Saudi Arabia concerned with the electricity sector, specifically research, studies and laws.

OPEC’s biggest oil producer plans to build 300 megawatts of solar plants in al-Jouf area in northern Saudi Arabia and 400 megawatts of wind projects in nearby Tabuk, al-Falih said.

Requests to qualify for bidding will be issued Feb. 20 and bids will be on April 17.

“The terms on renewable contracts will be motivating so that the cost of generating power from these renewable sources will be the lowest in the world,” he added.

“These projects have a significant size,” al-Falih said. “They will be the largest in the region size-wise and they are the first Saudi project that will be tendered through private-public partnership.”

Al-Falih added that Saudi Arabia has vast renewable energy resources and by exploiting them it is working on reaching its sustainable development goals and reinforcing the Kingdom’s position as the world’s most reliable supplier of energy, allowing it to accelerate economic transformation.