Signing of the property agreement

Signing of the property agreement

Solar panels venture announced

It is in line with national aspirations to build renewable energy capacity for local use, leaving oil-related products to be exported for generating wealth

February 2016

The Al Afandi Group has announced it will build solar panels at the Yanbu Industrial City for which it has signed a property contract with the Royal Commission.

It says the plant will be state of the art, producing solar panels generating 120 MW or the equivalent of 450,000 panels in the first phase

Majed Aldahawi, member of the Al Afandi board and commercial director, said the company has been a pioneer in renewable energies since 1994 when it successfully exported solar PV panels to Europe.

Al Rasheed Alkibsy, business development director at the Al Afandi Group, said solar radiation being high in the kingdom, the move towards solar energy was most sensible. It would reduce reliance on fossil fuels and help increase the volume of oil-related exports.

Alkibsy said Yanbu was selected as the factory site because it had the “comprehensive infrastructure” needed for the venture.

Furthermore, the manufacturing process requires reliable supplies of electricity and processed water which will be supplied by Marafiq, a key utilities provider.

The solar panels will be built from scratch, Alkibsy said. Starting with smelting of crude polysilicon to produce polycrystalline silicon ingots, these blocks will then be sliced into very thin wafers, which are the main building blocks to creating solar cells. These will be assembled into solar panels, which will be framed and sealed with a protective glass cover.

The fully automated production is designed specially for harsh weather and desert applications. The quality and yield will match the highest international standards and be certified by international auditors for use in markets such as the US and Europe.

The property contract was signed by the CEO, Royal Commission in Yanbu, Dr A’laa bin Abdullah Naseef, and Al Afandi group chairman Sheikh Ibrahim Al Afandi.

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