Huge solar PV complex planned in Saudi
Riyadh, February 5, 2014
Plans to establish a massive $6.4 billion vertically integrated solar PV (photovoltaic) manufacturing complex at Wa'ad Al Shammal in Saudi Arabia have been unveiled.
SunEdison, a leading solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabian Investment Company (Sanabil Investments) have signed an agreement to jointly fund a feasibility study for the project.
The proposed project, entailing the production of polysilicon through modules, would support the growth of the solar energy industry in the kingdom, said a statement.
This, and other deals like it, are designed to enable SunEdison's long term, downstream growth aspirations, which require significant supply capacity, accomplished in an asset light, balance sheet amenable way, it said.
The complex would utilize both SunEdison's proprietary high pressure silane fluidized bed reactor (HP-FBR) polysilicon, and continuous Czochralski (CCz) crystal ingot technology and equipment, as well as include solar wafer, cell and module manufacturing.
The project, costing approximately $6.4 billion, will begin production in 2017, ramping to 3 GW (gigawatts) annually.
A significant percentage of polysilicon and ingot production would support the 3 GW planned module output, with the remaining crystal production addressing the market with a substantial cost advantage.
Demonstrating strong support for the project, the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals pointed out it will provide the required quantities of natural gas, and the Saudi Electrical Company (SEC) will provide the needed power requirements for the project.
This project would enable local companies to gain access to and benefit from SunEdison's technology and downstream platform for solar energy development in Saudi Arabia and regional markets, the statement said.
"We anticipate substantial growth of solar PV within the kingdom and the region. This project will support that growth, and the growth aspirations of SunEdison and our Saudi partners," said Ahmad Chatila, CEO of SunEdison.
"The combination of SunEdison technology, and the kingdom's world-class manufacturing and energy sector expertise will enable us to capitalise on substantial growth in the kingdom and the region, and maximise the value of solar PV projects supported by this venture."
Azzam Shalabi, president of NICDP, said: "This project will be capable of building a complete industrial eco-system that is sustainable and able to compete on a global level by utilizing pioneering technology developed by SunEdison to produce high purity polysilicon, and high-efficiency, low-cost mono-crystalline ingots, in addition to benefiting from economies of scale given the size and vertically integrated nature of the complex." - TradeArabia News Service