W Solar Investment, a unit of Abu Dhabi-based International Holding subsidiary Alpha Dhabi, signed a preliminary agreement with the General Electricity Company of Libya (Gecol) to invest in the North African country's renewable energy sector.
The companies aim to build solar photovoltaic power station and sell the energy produced to the Libyan government, Alpha Dhabi said in a filing on Monday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
The plant is expected to generate 500 megawatts in the first phase and, ultimately, 2,000MW in the long term. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“This is a landmark agreement for W Solar as we look to grow our operations in Africa and establish long-term relationships with key partners,” said Zafar Muhammad, chief executive of W Solar, which will be owning and operating the project for 25 years from the start of production.
“With this, W Solar is entering a new growth phase and we are committed to bringing this co-operation to the next level.”
As with other countries, Libya, is boosting its efforts to diversify its energy mix and harness the potential of the solar and wind power-producing industries.
Nine years ago, Tripoli unveiled its Renewable Energy Strategic Plan for 2013 to 2025, which aims to achieve a renewable energy contribution to its electric energy mix of 7 per cent by 2020, 10 per cent by 2025 and 22 per cent by 2030.
Among the major green energy projects in the country are a 50MW renewable energy plant in Bali Walid, a solar plant in Tajoura with a peak capacity of 62 kilowatts and a 100MW solar PV plant in Soura, in addition to other public-private partnership projects designed to produce 2,000MW of renewable power in the coming years, according to investment platform Energy Capital & Power.
Overall energy investments in the Mena region are expected to grow by 9 per cent over the next five years to more than $879 billion, according to the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation.
The agreement between W Solar and Gecol is considered to be a significant step in business collaboration between the public and the private sector in the green energy sector.
W Solar's investment in Libya is also key to the North African country's economic reforms, said Gecol chairman Weam Elabdelie.
“The Libyan government has been showing a serious intention to develop renewable energy. As we get on with unleashing investments in the renewable energy sector, having a partner like W Solar will definitely help accelerate the national green energy agenda,” he said.
W Solar, as is the case with other Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy companies, is expanding its portfolio in the sector.
In January, it signed an agreement with Masdar to form a joint venture company, MW Energy Limited, which aims to develop clean energy projects in a range of locations.
Alpha Dhabi, which was previously known as Trojan Holding, has grown into a regional conglomerate.
It was listed on the ADX in June 2021 and has been on an expansion spree since then, tapping into a number of important industries as it grows globally.