Meba is entering a new field

Meba is entering a new field

Solar panels project unveiled

01 March 2016

Work on a plant to make solar panels will begin within months in Bahrain with commercial operations set to commence in September, the company launching the project says.

Metals of Bahrain (Meba), whose core business is engineered castings, says it is diversifying with the new venture, which will utilise technology and production machinery from a European company that designs and develops manufacturing lines and equipment for photovoltaic panels.

“The project is named Solar One, signifying it is the first solar panels manufacturing enterprise in Bahrain,” said Meba business development manager Faisal Khalifeh.

“The plant will have an initial investment of BD1 million ($2.65 million) and annual capacity to produce 60,000 solar panels that can generate around 15 MW of electricity per year, adequate to power around 200 homes,” Khalifeh remarked.

“If demand grows, it will be possible to increase capacity. Right now we just want to get off the ground and start producing,” he added.

The company has not targeted specific customers but as a first step it showcased its product and technology at the Gulf Industry Fair 2016, staged at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. The European firm will not have a stake in the company operating the plant; its involvement is restricted to supplying technology, the production line and testing as well as training.

“It will actually be a separate, fully Bahraini-owned company close to our engineered castings plant in South Alba Industrial Area,” highlighted Khalifeh.

“Solar One will have fully automatic machines in operation. No official from the production line supplier will be on permanent duty but Solar One will always have somebody from the firm to consult with. They have an office in the region, making access convenient.

“They provide very thorough training. They will be coming to Bahrain to install the line and train employees,” he said.

The panels’ dimensions will be approximately 1.6 m long and 96 cm wide.

“We’re eliminating 20,000 tonnes of carbon per year, the same as taking out 4,400 cars off the road,” Khalifeh estimated.

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