MBM plans $400m solar plant
Dubai, August 7, 2010
MBM Holdings, a Dubai-based investment firm, has announced plans to build a $400 million polysilicon plant in the emirate along with Singapore-based ERC Private Limited.
The 2500MT/a solar-grade polysilicon plant will be the first upstream plant of its kind to be constructed in the UAE and has synergies with Abu Dhabi's focus on downstream solar projects, said a statement from MBM Holdings.
ERC, which has an extensive experience in developing similar plant, said a new firm MBM Solar Holding has been set up to develop the project.
The planned polysilicon plant will have a total capacity of 2,500 tons per annum of high quality solar-grade polysilicon product and is expected to start production in early 2012.
At present MBM is in negotiations with local authorities for land and power for this project, the statement said.
MBM's vision is to take UAE to the forefront of the solar energy industry in the Mena region and subcontinent, said its top official.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, chairman of MBM, said, 'ERC Singapore is our equity and technology partner given their worldwide networks, technical-commercial expertise, existing management team and their ability to plan and execute a project in record time.'
He said the new company MBM Solar Holding will form the anchor for supporting other private sector developers in the solar downstream sector. 'The plant will be build to accommodate incremental production capacity so as to increase production beyond 2500MT/a,' he added.
The project will be the first of its kind in the Middle East to produce polysilicon as it utilizes ERC's existing designs that will shave off at least 18 months from a typical project lead-time. It will be constructed in total area of 250,000 sq m in a yet to be decided location.
MBM Holdings will soon give out a mandate to an Investment Bank to seek the residual parts of equity and debt for this project, said the MBM chairman.
Kassym Abzhanov, director of ERC said, 'The project will be the bank's first major strategic initiative in renewable sector and will benefit from the world class infrastructure available in the UAE in terms of facilities and personnel.
'We are proud to work with MBM Holdings which has a track record in Dubai and a strong reputation for excellence. MBM has an excellent partnership approach and the right people to execute the strategy. This project will be lucrative for sovereign and private investors in Mena,' he added.
According to him, the project is in line with the declaration of Green Dubai 2008 by Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.-TradeArabia News Service
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