Abu Dhabi gets bids for world’s biggest solar plant

Abu Dhabi’s use of solar power will reduce CO2 emissions, which the plant will cut by 1.6 million metric tons a year. (AFP)
Updated 23 November 2019

Abu Dhabi gets bids for world’s biggest solar plant

  • The plant will be the world’s largest solar PV IPP project, providing 110,000 Emirati homes with electricity

LONDON: Bids have been received for what is set to become the world’s biggest solar power plant project covering 20 square kilometers of desert in Abu Dhabi.

It is being built by Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a unit of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower).

The bids cover the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the 2 gigawatt project in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.

The plant will be the world’s largest solar PV IPP project, and provide up to 110,000 households across the UAE with electricity. 

“This year, EWEC has already delivered the world’s current largest single-site solar PV project, Noor Abu Dhabi, on time and on budget,” said EWEC CEO Othman Al-Ali. “We continue to deliver on our ambitious sustainable generation program, and this new plant is integral to our strategic plan to deliver on the clean energy mix outlined by the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.”

It will be almost double the size of EWEC’s approximately 1.2 GW ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ solar plant, the largest operational single-project solar PV plant in the world.

Once operational, the plant will lift Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to around 3.2 GW, further reducing the emirate’s CO2 emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year, EWEC said in a statement.

As part of the tendering process issued in July 2019, an optional bid for significant battery storage was allowed.


Oil falls below $57 on virus impact and OPEC+ delay

Updated 19 February 2020

Oil falls below $57 on virus impact and OPEC+ delay

  • Contagion ‘is spooking market players,’ analysts say after Asian shares fall and Apple issues warning

LONDON: Oil fell below $57 a barrel on Tuesday, pressured by concerns over the impact on crude demand from the coronavirus outbreak in China and a lack of further action by OPEC and its allies to support the market.

Forecasters including the International Energy Agency (IEA) have cut 2020 oil demand estimates because of the virus. Though new cases in mainland China have dipped, global experts say it is too early to judge if the outbreak is being contained.

Brent crude was down 82 cents at $56.85 a barrel in mid-afternoon trade after rallying in the previous five sessions. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 70 cents to $51.35.

“Risk aversion has returned to the markets,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

“OPEC+ has shown no sign yet of reacting to the virus-related slump in demand by making additional production cuts.”

The virus is having a wider impact on companies and financial markets. Asian shares fell and Wall Street was poised to retreat on Tuesday after Apple said it would miss quarterly revenue guidance owing to weakened demand in China.

“This has spooked market players and triggered a sharp pullback in risk assets,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

The IEA last week said that first-quarter oil demand is likely to fall by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the same period last year in the first quarterly decline since the financial crisis in 2009.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, have been considering further production cuts to tighten supply and support prices.

The group, known as OPEC+, has a pact to cut oil output by 1.7 million bpd until the end of March.

The next OPEC+ meeting next month is set to consider an advisory panel’s recommendation to cut supply by a further 600,000 bpd. Talks on holding an earlier meeting in February appear to have made no progress, OPEC sources said.

As well as OPEC+ voluntary curbs, support for prices has come from involuntary losses in Libya, where output has collapsed since Jan. 18 because of a blockade of ports and oilfields.