Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar

Updated 28 October 2014

Saudi Arabia, Canada to hold renewable energy seminar

A Canadian trade delegation, headed by Canada’s Deputy Minister of International Trade Simon Kennedy arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday to meet several Saudi officials and major firms with a special focus on renewable energy in Saudi Arabia.
Canadian Ambassador Thomas MacDonald said Canada’s first renewable energy mission, which is focused on solar technology, will visit the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), ACWA Power and other industry leaders.
The envoy said Kennedy and the chairman of the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) will host a business seminar for the mission Wednesday at the Al Mashreq Boutique Hotel to introduce Canadian companies to Saudi partners for renewable energy projects in the Kingdom and elsewhere in the Middle East.
According to him, the visit comes amid recent reports that KACARE received a request from SEC for the establishment of solar energy plants in Qaisumah, Rafha, Wadi Al-Duwasir, Mahd Al-Dhahab and Shororah, and a report that ACWA Power is seeking to secure or arranging financing for $7.4 billion worth of renewable energy projects.
He stated that there will be a commercial signing ceremony during this visit. The Canadian delegation includes SkyPower, which concluded a joint venture — Fawaz Alhokair (FAS) Energy. In May 2014, the joint venture announced a five-year, $5-billion deal to build solar projects in Nigeria.
Canadian Solar, a supplier of 1.78 megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels to Saudi Aramco for the Kingdom’s largest ground-mounted solar installation at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies Research Center also is part of the delegation. In addition, QD Solar, Silfab, Morgan Solar and Jeco Power and AESP-Green Energy are manufacturers and developers of leading energy-saving LED (light-emitting diode) lighting systems.
MacDonald said renewable sources generate up to 65 percent of Canada’s electricity. Solar and wind are the country’s two fastest growing sources.
According to him, Solar photovoltaic capacity reached 1,210 megawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 2013. The Canadian Solar Industry Association forecasts that annual capacity will increase three folds by 2025. By then, the Canadian solar industry will support more than 35,000 jobs, displacing 15 to 31 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Canada has two of the largest solar farms in the world — the Arnprior and Enbridge solar farms, both located in Ontario, Canada’s largest province. Total private investment in Ontario’s photovoltaic installations is $12.9 billion.
Ontario phased out coal-fired generators in April 2014 — North America’s largest single climate change initiative.
Between 2003 and 2012, Canada registered an estimated 233 patents in photovoltaic technology with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“Thanks to Canada's generous R&D tax credits, the after tax cost of $100 in R&D expenditure is closer to $50, making Canada a partner of choice for developing renewable energy products,” he added.


Saudi energy giant to invest $3bn in Bangladesh’s power sector

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi energy giant to invest $3bn in Bangladesh’s power sector

  • Experts say deal will usher in more economic and development opportunities for the country

DHAKA: Saudi Arabia’s energy giant, ACWA power, will set up an LNG-based 3,600 MW plant in Bangladesh after an agreement was signed in Dhaka on Thursday.

The MoU was signed by ACWA Chairman Mohammed Abunayyan and officials from the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), officials told Arab News on Monday.

According to the agreement, ACWA will invest $3 billion in Bangladesh’s energy development sector, of which $2.5 billion will be used to build the power plant while the rest will be spent on an LNG terminal to facilitate fuel supply to the plant. Under the deal, ACWA will also set up a 2 MW solar power plant.

In recent months, both countries have engaged in a series of discussions for investment opportunities in Bangladesh’s industry and energy sectors. 

During the Saudi-Bangladesh investment cooperation meeting in March this year, Dhaka proposed a $35 billion investment plan to a high-powered Saudi delegation led by Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, the Saudi commerce and investment minister, and Mohammed bin Mezyed Al-Tuwaijri, the Saudi economy and planning minister.

However, officials in Dhaka said that this was the first investment deal to be signed between the two countries.

“We have just inked the MoU for building the LNG-based power plant. Now, ACWA will conduct a feasibility study regarding the location of the plant, which is expected to be completed in the next six months,” Khaled Mahmood, chairman of BPDB, told Arab News.

He added that there are several locations in Moheshkhali, Chottogram and the Mongla port area for the proposed power plant.

“We need to find a suitable location where the drift of the river will be suitable for establishing the LNG plant and we need to also consider the suitability of establishing the transmission lines,” Mahmood said.

“It will be either a JV (Joint Venture) or an IPP (Independent Power Producer) mode of investment, which is yet to be determined. But, we are expecting that in next year the investment will start coming here,” Mahmood said.

BPDB expects to complete the set-up process of the power plant within 36 to 42 months.

“We are in close contact with ACWA and focusing on the successful completion of the project within the shortest possible time,” he said.

Abunayyan said that he was optimistic about the new investment deal.

“Bangladesh has been a model for the Muslim world in economic progress. This is our beginning, and our journey and our relationship will last for a long time,” Abunayyan told a gathering after the MoU signing ceremony.

Economists and experts in Bangladesh also welcomed the ACWA investment in the energy development sector.

“This sort of huge and long-term capital investment will create a lot of employment opportunities. On the other hand, it will facilitate other trade negotiations with the Middle Eastern countries, too,” Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, senior research fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), told Arab News.

She added that Bangladesh needs to weigh the pros and cons before finalizing such contracts so that the country can earn the “maximum benefits” from the investment.

“It will also expedite other big investments in Bangladesh from different countries,” she said.

Another energy economist, Dr. Asadujjaman, said that Bangladesh needs to exercise caution while conducting the feasibility study for such a huge investment.

“We need to address the environmental aspects, opportunity costs and other economic perspectives while working with this type of big investment. Considering the present situation, the country also needs to focus on producing more solar energy,” Dr. Asadujjaman told Arab News.