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Mon 23 Feb 2009 12:32 PM

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$54m UAE solar power technology factory plan

Conglomerate Mulk Holdings inks deal with US company to develop green energy ideas.

A new UAE-based solar energy company is to invest over AED200m ($54.5m) to set up a factory manufacturing solar power technology to be deployed in the Gulf and around the world, it was announced on Monday.

UAE conglomerate Mulk Holdings and US solar energy developer Suntrof signed a memorandum of understanding opening the way for the creation of the firm, to be known as Suntrof Mulk Energy Group, which will be headquartered in the UAE and have branches in the USA, Europe and India, Mulk said in a release.

Negotiations were already underway on large scale contracts in Abu Dhabi and Umm Al Quwain in the UAE, in addition to the USA, India and Nigeria, among others, that would see the group become one of the largest solar energy system suppliers in the region, it said.

It is expected to register a turnover of at least $600m once projects under negotiation were underway, it said.

Over AED200m will be invested by the firm in the first phase to establish a facility manufacturing parabolic sun troughs, a system that produces solar energy.  

A prototype solar energy generation plant will also be installed in Sharjah Hamriya Freezone, with the backing of the Sharjah government.

More than 1,000 skilled people will be employed in the manufacturing facilities, with work scheduled to start on a 500 kilowatt prototype in April, which is expected to be completed before the end of 2009.

The group was also considering setting up a manufacturing base in Masdar City, the zero-carbon project to be powered by solar energy under development in Abu Dhabi, which will have a captive consumption of nearly 1,500 megawatts.

Mulk Holdings is a multinational company with interests in construction products manufacturing, contracting, real estate, hospitality and healthcare with operations in the Middle East, USA, Europe and India.

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