Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry has launched requests for qualifications (RFQ) for the first phase of its mega National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).
The ambitious NREP, announced last month, targets generating 9.5GW of renewable energy by 2023, with an interim target of 3.45GW of capacity by 2020. It will involve investments of between $30bn and $50bn.
For the first round, the RFQ process is open to local, regional and international developers and consortiums who have the technical and financial capabilities to execute such projects, a statement said.
The process will be managed through an eProcurement portal, “ensuring that the process is fair, transparent, and fast”, it added.
Round 1 RFQ documents can be viewed, downloaded, and responded to via the government gateway. The RFQ deadline ends on March 20 2017, with pre-qualified bidders announced by April 10, 2017.
The sites selected for the first round include Sakaka, in the Al Jouf Province (in the north) where the 300MW of solar PV will be developed, and Midyan, in the Tabuk Province (northwest), for the 400MW wind project.
The projects will be backed by 25-year power purchase agreements (PPA) for the solar PV and 20 year PPA for wind.
Both sites have undergone full predevelopment work, and site assessments will be made available to pre-qualified bidders at the request for proposal stage, the statement said.
The ministry also clarified that the application for pre-qualification is open on an individual basis to all entities engaged in the electric power sector, or to a consortium of firms in which at least one entity has experience in the electric power sector, especially as a renewable energy independent power producer.
Pre-qualified bidders will enter into the round 1 request for proposal (RFP) stage due to launch on April 17, 2017, with the RFP process expected to close in July 2017.
Companies whose pre-qualification application is unsuccessful in round 1 will still be eligible to participate in future projects as long as they qualify, the statement added.
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi’s minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, said: “This marks the starting point of a long and sustained programme of renewable energy deployment in Saudi Arabia, that will not only diversify our power mix but also catalyse economic development and support long-term prosperity in line with Vision 2030’s goals which include creating a new renewable industry and support the buildup of this promising sector.
“It is our goal to make the NREP among the most attractive, competitive and well executed government renewable energy investment programmes in the world, and we have all the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure that is the case.
“We look forward to engaging and working with developers and investors all over the world as the kingdom works towards its energy transition,” he added.
Currently the kingdom produces less than 1 per cent of its total power via renewable sources.