Saudi Arabia shortlists bidders for second round PV solar projects

3 Apr 2020
Saudi Arabia shortlists bidders for second round PV solar projects

Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Project Development Office (Repdo) has shortlisted bidders for five photovoltaic (PV) solar projects with a combined total capacity of 870MW under the second round of the kingdom’s ambitious National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).

Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Project Development Office (Repdo) has shortlisted bidders for five photovoltaic (PV) solar projects with a combined total capacity of 870MW under the second round of the kingdom’s ambitious National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).

Repdo received four bids for the four larger Category B projects under the second round on 20 January.

For the 300MW photovoltaic (PV) Jeddah independent power project (IPP), 300MW Rabigh PV IPP and 200MW Qurrayat IPP, the client decided that no bidder would be awarded more than one project.


Three winners


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 has invited the two lowest bidders, the Masdar and Acwa Power consortiums to submit best and final offers (BAFO), with the process to be completed in April.


Category A projects


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.


Third round


In January, Repdo invited developers to prequalify for the third round of the NREP, which is planned to include four PV solar projects with a total combined capacity of 1.2GW.

Two of the PV independent power producer (IPP) projects will be tendered as ‘Category A’ projects, with two to be designated as ‘Category B’ schemes.

The Category A projects are:

• Wadi ad-Dawasir, 120MW
• Layla, 80MW

The Category B projects are:

• Ar-Rass, 700MW
• Saad, 300MW

As with the second round of the NREP, companies can apply to be prequalified as either ‘Managing Member’; and/or ‘Technical Member’; and/or ‘Local Managing Member.’

According to the request for qualification (RFQ) document, companies that were prequalified as either of these three participants in the second round of the NREP were automatically prequalified for the third round.

All three categories of prequalified companies will be eligible to bid for the smaller Category A projects, with participation in the tender for Category B projects restricted to Managing Members and Technical Members. Parties which fail to prequalify in either of the above three categories will be able to join consortiums with prequalified companies following the conclusion of the prequalification round.

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.

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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