The Saudi Government wants to make renewable energy a growth sector

The Saudi Government wants to make renewable energy a growth sector

YBA Kanoo opens solar plant

01 April 2015

Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo Company (YBA Kanoo), one of the largest family-owned conglomerates in the Gulf, has opened a 60 kW solar power plant at its facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The plant is built with the latest Korean renewable technology provided by Korea Nuclear Engineering Services Corporation (Kones) and its affiliates.

Present at the inauguration on YBA Kanoo’s premises in Jeddah were group deputy chairman Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Kanoo and a South Korean consul in Saudi Arabia, Nakyoung Oh. Also present were Ahmed Fawzi, Kanoo area manager for the Western Province, and other officials.

Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Khalid said the project consists of 228 high-efficiency mono crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules which are inclined at 15 degrees and oriented to the south.

“The output of the solar panel is connected to an inverter which converts the DC current generated by the sun into AC current which is used to supply the building.

“A transformer and a state-of-the-art controller ensure that the system remains synchronised with supply from the grid. The system produces between 300 and 400 KWH per day and includes a weather monitoring system which continuously measures the solar energy.”

According to Sheikh Khalid, as an additional feature to innovatively save space, solar panels were integrated in the car parking design structure that provides shade for up to 28 cars. The system was designed in modular form so it can be doubled and trebled as required.

The project is part of Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo’s policy to promote national energy independence and decrease carbon emissions.

Established in 1890, the Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo group of companies operates extensively throughout Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Yemen and Qatar.


Acwa Power project

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power is obtaining a loan of about $344 million from three banks to finance a solar energy project in Dubai, UAE, the company’s chief executive Paddy Padmanathan said, according to Reuters.

The 27-year amortising loan with an interest rate of four per cent is being provided by Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf Bank and two Saudi banks, National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group, he told reporters on the sidelines of a business conference.

Padmanathan said the entire project would cost about $400 million, of which bank financing would account for 86 per cent. “We are working towards signing by end-March,” he said.

The solar plant, to be built by a consortium of Acwa and Spain’s TSK, was ordered by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) and will have a capacity of 200 MW.

Acwa is preparing bids for projects worth $7 billion in areas from South Asia to the Middle East and North Africa and South Africa, Padmanathan said. “It is a very, very buoyant sector.”

The company’s 2014 results are due to be compiled in April and it expects to achieve 15-20 per cent profit growth, Padmanathan added.

Acwa is awaiting regulatory approval for an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares. The size of the IPO has not been finalised, he said. Asked about the company’s value, he said: “We control about $25 billion-plus of assets.”

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