Makkah solar project bids to be opened in new year

International consortia chasing $640m deal for 100MW energy project

About 20 international consortia made up of about 100 companies are expected to bid for the project
About 20 international consortia made up of about 100 companies are expected to bid for the project

Bidding for a 100MW solar project in Makkah is to open in the first week of 2013, the city’s mayor, Osama bin Fadl Al-Bar, has revealed.

The project is set cost around $640m (SAR 2.4bn) and is expected to attract interest from a score of consortia made up of dozens of international companies.

“About 20 international consortiums (sic) consisting of about 100 companies will compete for the execution of the project,” Al-Bar told business daily Al-Eqtisadiah.

“The offers should have been opened on Saudi National Day [23rd September] but some consortiums (sic) asked for more time to further study the project,” he explained.

Al-Bar said the winning bidder will decide on the location of the 2 million m² site for the project and will be paid in monthly instalments of $2.7m (SAR 10m).

“The contractor would buy the piece of land whose ownership would return to the municipality at the end of the contract,” he added.

The mayor expected the project to save about $587m (SAR 2.2bn) on the municipality’s general budget for electricity bills.

“We have been asking citizens to use solar energy instead of electricity. We should set an example. The government incurs about three times the value of the electricity bill paid by the citizen for each kilowatt of power he consumes. By using solar energy, the government will save a lot of money it used to spend on electricity,” Al-Bar said.

The mayor said the success of project would encourage other municipalities and government departments to follow suit.

“Solar energy will also save the local consumption of oil which is expected to be eight million barrels a day by the year 2030,” he added.

According to municipality sources, this project would be used to satisfy the needs of the municipality for energy while another similar project would light streets and tunnels.

They said the two projects were part of more than 100 projects that a team of municipality specialists had specified to ensure the participation of the private sector in municipal activities.

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