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Kuwait has invited bids to build a solar farm that will be expected to produce 70MW of electricity by 2016
The solar farm is the first phase of a plan to generate 2,000MW from renewable energy sources by 2030. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research head of energy studies Salem al-Hajraf said 37 consortia out of 107 pre-qualified would bid for the project.
The second and third phases will produce 930MW and 1,000MW, respectively, when the project has been fully completed in 2030, Hajraf added. About 50MW will be produced from solar thermal sources and 10MW each from photovoltaic and wind sources.
The pioneer project will be built on a 100km sq area in Shagaya, a desert zone 100km west of Kuwait City, near the borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Hajraf said that a target has been set for renewable energy sources to contribute up to 15 per cent of Kuwait's total power production by 2030.
At present, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member pumps three million barrels of crude oil daily. It uses 126mn barrels of oil equivalent for electricity production, which currently stands at around 14,000MW.
The official, however, gave no details on the cost of the project but said that the first phase will be financed by the government. The second and third phases will be offered to investors on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis for 25 years, during which the government has pledged to buy all output.
When completed, the project will be enough to supply electricity to 100,000 homes and save about 12.5mn barrels of oil equivalent per year, Hajraf claimed.