Tunisia ratifies $100m contract awarded to Dubai's AMEA Power for new solar plant

Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2022

The Shams 1 Solar Power Station in Abu Dhabi. A number of countries in the Mena region are developing renewable energy projects. Christopher Pike / The National
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Tunisia's government ratified a $100 million contract awarded to consortium led by Dubai-based AMEA Power to build a 100 megawatts solar plant in the northern part of the country.

The consortium formed by AMEA Power and China’s TBEA Xinjiang New Energy was awarded the concession and power purchase agreement for the plant in Kairouan in December 2019. Construction is expected to start by the end of this year.

The plant is part of the first round of solar projects unveiled through an international tender programme by Tunisia’s Ministry of Industry and SMEs in 2018 to boost renewable energy capacity in the country, AMEA Power said on Friday.

“Through the government’s 2030 New Energy Vision, Tunisia aims to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix to 30 per cent by 2030, corresponding to an additional installed capacity of approximately 4GW,” said Hussain Al Nowais, chairman of AMEA Power.

“AMEA Power is proud to be able to support Tunisia in achieving this vision and to contribute to reducing the country’s carbon footprint.”

Several countries in the Mena region — including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Oman — are developing new renewable energy projects, with a focus on solar energy.

The world added more than 260 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in 2020, exceeding 2019 figures by about 50 per cent, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

More than 80 per cent of all new electricity capacity was renewable, with solar and wind accounting for 91 per cent, Irena said.

The UAE, Opec's third-largest oil producer, plans to invest Dh600 billion ($163bn) by 2050 in renewable and clean energy capacity, and achieve net zero emissions in the next three decades.

Abu Dhabi is building the world's largest solar plant in Al Dhafra region with a total capacity of 2GW, while Dubai is constructing the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park with a total capacity of 5,000MW.

The Mena region has the resources and vision to unlock huge economic potential as the world remains focused on the transition to a lower-carbon economy, according to Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.

“The energy transition to a lower-carbon future represents a huge economic opportunity that we must seize using every lever available,” Dr Al Jaber, who is also managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, said last year.

Updated: March 04, 2022, 10:25 AM