Bidders wait for news on Saudi renewables programme

Bidders wait for news on Saudi renewables programme

4 Aug 2020

Saudi Arabia's Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) shortlisted bidders for seven of the eight projects under the second round of the National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP) in April

 

Bidders are still waiting for news from the client on the second round of Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP), following the shortlisting of bidders in April.

The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) shortlisted bidders for five of the six photovoltaic (PV) Category B solar projects tendered under the second round of the NREP on 3 April.

For the sixth and largest project tendered under the second round, the two lowest bidders submitted best and final offers later in April.

According to sources close to the kingdom’s renewables programme, the bidders are still waiting to hear from the client when contracts will be awarded and power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed.

For the 300MW Jeddah photovoltaic PV IPP, Repdo shortlisted the two lowest bidders as the two shortlisted bidders for the project.

The consortium of the UAE’s Masdar, France’s EDF and the local Nesma Holding was ranked first shortlisted bidder with a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) tariff of SRhalalas6.09 per kilowatt hour (SRh/kWh), $cents1.62/kWh in US dollars.

The second ranked shortlisted bidder was a consortium of the local Acwa Power, Kuwait’s GIC and the local Al-Babtain with a LCOE tariff of SRh6.215/kWh.

For the 300MW Rabigh PV IPP, Repdo shortlisted a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and the local Al-Jomaih Energy & Water Company with a LCOE tariff of SRhalalas6.38kWh, the second lowest submitted LCOE. Masdar had submitted the lowest LCOE, but due to it being shortlisted as first bidder for the Jeddah project, it was out of the running for the Rabigh project.

The second ranked shortlisted bidder was the Acwa Power/GIC/Al-Babtain consortium with a bid of SR6.597/kWh.

The Acwa Power consortium was selected as first ranked bidder for the 200MW Qurrayat IPP with a submitted LCOE of SR6.688/kWh. A consortium of France’s Total Solar and local firms Al-Gihaz Holding Company and Altaaqa Alternative Solutions was ranked second shortlisted bidder with a LCOE tariff of SRh6.785/kWh.

For the largest capacity project in the NREP’s second round, the 600MW Al-Faisaliah PV IPP, Repdo invited the two lowest bidders, the Masdar and Acwa Power consortiums to submit best and final offers (BAFO) later in April.

In June, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman revealed that Saudi Arabia would shortly be announcing a solar project with a world-record low tariff. The Energy minister was most likely referring to the Fasiliyah PV project.

Prince Abdulaziz, speaking during a virtual conference organised by the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative Institute (FII-I), said that the energy ministry would “… very soon be announcing a project on solar that will take the lead in terms of probably the lowest, if not the lowest, cost per kilowatt of electricity.”

Repdo has also shortlisted bidders for the two smaller Category A projects under the second round. The client received bids from consortiums led by the local Al-Blagha Holding group and US-based First Solar on 3 February for the 50MW Medina PV IPP and the 20MW Rafha PV IPP projects.

For the 50MW Medina PV IPP, the Al-Blagha Holding for Investments Company/Alfanar (local)/ Desert Technologies Industries was ranked first shortlisted bidder with a LCOE tariff of SRh7.27/kWh. The First Solar/ Al-Mowah (local) consortium was second shortlisted bidder with a tariff of SRh11.35/kWh.

For the 20MW Rafha project, the Al-Blagha consortium was once again ranked first shortlisted bidder with a LCOE tariff of SRh13.0772/kWh. The First Solar consortium had submitted a tariff of SRh19.04/kWh.

The successful bidders for both Category A and B projects will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Saudi Procurement Company (SPPC) as offtaker.

Each project will be developed under a build-own-operate (BOO) model, with the successful bidder holding 100 per cent equity in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up to developer and operate the IPP.

Later in April, Repdo issued tender documents to prequalified developers for the 1.2GW third round of the NREP, with bids due in November.

Saudi Arabia has set an ambitious target to install 58.7GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, with Repdo to oversee the development of 30 per cent of this though a competitive IPP tendering programme.

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