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Saudi Arabia Kicks off First RFQ for Renewable Energy Program | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man walks past a field of solar panels at the King Abdulaziz
City of Sciences and Technology. Reuters

Riyadh- The Renewable Energy Project Development Office, a newly created body of the kingdom’s energy ministry, has launched its first Request for Proposal (RFQ) for companies interested in bidding for 700 megawatts of solar and wind energy projects.

The Ministry of Energy said that the requests will be managed through an e-platform specially developed to facilitate the bidding process and to secure credibility and speed of proceedings. Companies will be able to learn about the first phase’s requests, download them, and then submit them through the e-platform.

The office has set March 20 a final date to receive requests, and April 10 to announce the qualified requests.

Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, said that this launch marks the starting point for a long and sustained program of renewable energy deployment in Saudi Arabia. These projects will not only diversify the power mix, but also catalyze economic development and support long-term prosperity in line with Vision 2030 goals, which include creating a new renewable industry and support the build-up of this promising sector.

He added that the Kingdom’s goal is to make the national renewable energy program among the most attractive, competitive and well-executed government renewable energy investment programs in the world, amid the availability of necessary infrastructure.

Selected firms will be able to access the site assessments that have been carried out for both the Sakaka and Midyan areas, which will house 300MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 400MW wind project respectively.

For this transition, the ministry has adopted a commercial sample that includes the involvement of independent producers in renewable energy sector, which will provide important opportunities to attract investments and create new jobs.

The projects will be backed by 25-year power purchase agreements for Solar PV and 20 year for Wind. Qualified companies will have the chance to visit the sites dedicated for the projects to learn about the technical information and evaluate them during the bidding phase.

Qualified companies are allowed to partake in the first RFP phase, which will be inaugurated on April 17. For any company whose pre-qualification application is unsuccessful as either a manager or technical role in the first round will still remain eligible to participate in future projects.