Saudi Arabia – the world’s biggest oil exporter – has selected 51 companies to bid for the two renewable energy projects.
The kingdom, which is looking to cut its dependence on oil to meet the domestic electricity demand, has invited companies to apply for the qualification round of the bidding on a 300 MW solar plant and a 400 MW wind energy project.
The Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry said that it selected 27 companies to bid on the solar project and 24 for the wind project, according to a report from Arabian Business.
The 300-megawatt solar plant will be built at Sakaka in the kingdom’s northern Al Jouf province, while the 400-megawatt wind plant will be setup at Midyan in northwestern Tabuk province.
The ministry had received applications from 128 companies. The kingdom’s goal is 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2023.
The selected companies include EDF Energies Nouvelles, a subsidiary of the French public energy company, Marubeni Corp, and Mitsui & Co. In addition, companies from Canada and South Korea also qualified for the bidding.
Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power is also among the selected firms as the company met the “clear set of criteria that ensures bidders are both experienced and capable of delivering utility-scale renewable energy projects”, the energy ministry said in a statement.
Khaled al-Falih, the minister of Energy, Industrial and Mineral Resources, said in the statement that the market is having a “confidence in our vast renewable energy potential and investment environment.”
Saudi Arabia’s $50 Billion Renewable Energy Plan
Saudi Arabia is planning to spend up to $50 billion on renewable energy projects in a bid to limit domestic oil use in meeting growing energy demand.
As reported by Bloomberg last month, Saudi Arabia is looking to develop almost 10 GW of renewable energy by 2023. This will require an investment of $30 billion to $50 billion, according to Al-Falih.
Al-Falih said: “This marks the starting point of a long and sustained program of renewable energy deployment in Saudi Arabia that will not only diversify our power mix but also catalyze economic development.”
The energy ministry’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office will set up “the most attractive, competitive and well-executed government renewable energy investment programs in the world,” Al-Falih added.
Qualified companies will be able to present their formal proposals starting on April 17 through July, according to the energy ministry.