Makkah solar streetlight project gets $794.6m bid

Rolls Royce/General Electric consortium makes offer for 25 year deal

If the first phase of the solar streetlight project is successful, it will be rolled out across Makkah
If the first phase of the solar streetlight project is successful, it will be rolled out across Makkah

A project to power streetlights in Makkah using solar energy has received a $794.6m (SAR2.98m) bid from a consortium led by Rolls Royce and General Electric, Arab News reports.

The offer was for a 25-year operation period for the lighting system, while another consortium led by ACWA Power are said to have bid $344m to operate the project for 11 years. The two consortia have been shortlisted from a total of 20 companies that submitted their proposals for the project earlier this year.

An official from Makkah Municipality revealed in a statement earlier this week that installation of the lighting is set to commence in July 2013 and take one year to complete.

It is estimated that the project will save the state treasury $586.6m (SAR2.2bn) over 20 years, according to Osama Al-Barr, mayor of Makkah.

“The cost of the 100 megawatt solar powered lighting project, which is estimated at SR2.4bn, will be paid in monthly installments of SAR10m ($2.7m),” Al-Barr said.

“We are the first municipality in the world to launch a solar project that will cater for the power needs of the entire municipality,” the mayor added.

The first stage of the project will be a pilot scheme, covering three of the nine parts of the Crown Prince Plan 9, which covers a total area of around 4.3km². The project will be implemented throughout the city if the pilot scheme is successfully executed.

The project is currently open for prospective investor and developer bids to supply the city with 30,000 to 40,000 light poles powered by solar energy.

Amin bin Abdulqader Naebalharam, deputy mayor for municipal investment development and chairman of the Solar Energy Committee, said the project will contribute in reducing costs for companies providing street lighting equipment, in addition to cables, fittings and other requirements, “especially in remote areas”.

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