By Jack Ball
The French-Emirati consortium will reportedly work on the kingdom's first wind energy project in Al Jouf
Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry has awarded a contract for the $500m (SAR1.9bn) Dumat Al Jandal wind power project to a consortium comprising France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar.
The country's Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) was said to have received four bids from companies across five countries for the 400MW wind project in the kingdom's Al Jouf region, Construction Week reported.
The project, the first commercial wind farm in Saudi Arabia, was awarded based on the levelised energy cost of $2.13 cents/kWh – registering a new record-low price for a project of this type across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
When completed, the wind farm will generate power for up to 70,000 Saudi households, and is expected to create almost 1,000 jobs at the construction and operation stages.
Requests for proposals for the project were made available for qualified bidders on the National Renewable Energy Programme’s dedicated eProcurement portal in August 2017. Repdo qualified 25 companies for the megaproject, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency at the time.
The contract news comes amid concerted efforts by the desert kingdom to diversify its energy capabilities and, by extension, its economy away from fossil fuels. April 2017 saw the launch of King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative, which aims to meet 10% of Saudi Arabia’s energy needs through renewable energy sources.
Speaking at the scheme’s launch, Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi energy minister, said most of the projects will focus on solar and wind in the first stage.