Abengoa partners with Total and Masdar to build Concentrating Solar Power in the Middle East

The bidding consortium of Abengoa Solar and Total has been selected in the competitive international Shams -1 tender by Abu Dhabi’s future energy company Masdar to enter with Masdar into a joint venture to develop, own and operate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi the largest solar plant in the Middle East. Featuring some 6,300,000 square-feet of Abengoa Solar parabolic trough collectors, the plant will have a 100 megawatts capacity of clean solar power.

With construction beginning in mid 2010, the Shams concentrating solar power (CSP) station will be operational in 2012 and will cover 741 acres of desert. The plant will produce enough electricity to power 62,000 households with sustainable energy. The Shams -1 plant represents one of the first steps in the region towards the introduction of sustainable energy sources in an energy market which until now has depended mostly on hydrocarbons. To make solar power generation viable, the Government of Abu Dhabi has approved for the Shams -1 project a solar incentive premium in the form of a long term Green Power Agreement.

The 60 per cent of Shams -1, sun in Arabic, will be owned by Masdar while an Abengoa Solar and Total joint venture will own the other 40 per cent.

Abener and Teyma, two Abengoa companies, will be responsible for the turn key construction of the Shams -1 plant. After commercial start up Abengoa Solar and Total will be in charge of operation and maintenance. Power production will be sold to Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC) under a long-term electricity sales contract.

Abengoa Solar will provide its parabolic trough technology for the Shams -1 plant to generate solar thermal electricity through the concentration of sunlight, an efficient, reliable and clean solution that is now being implemented in large-scale commercial solar thermal power stations in Spain and northern Africa.

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, expressed his satisfaction with having been awarded this prominent project: “We have teamed with the most qualified partners in the region, Total and Masdar, to own and operate what will be the most advanced solar plant, featuring our cutting-edge technology”. He also pointed out that winning this first project in the Middle East “represents a milestone for our company as it extends our global presence. We currently have solar plants in Europe, The United States and Northern Africa. Adding the Middle East is very important for us”.

In turn, Michael Geyer, Abengoa Solar’s director of International Development, highlighted the immense potential of building large-scale solar plants in the Middle East, a region that offers both an unlimited solar resource and infinite site locations for implementation of solar plants in its deserts. “The immense regional market potential for CSP plants, combined with our leading edge parabolic trough and central receiver technologies, enables us to offer the most competitive solar power generation to contribute to the coverage of the region’s accelerated growth in electrical power demand”.

Abengoa is a technology company that applies innovative solutions for sustainability in the infrastructure, environmental and energy sectors. The company is listed on the Spanish stock exchange and is present in more than seventy countries, in which it operates through its five Business Units: Solar, Bioenergy, Environmental Services, Information Technologies and Industrial Engineering and Construction.

Total is one of the world’s major oil and gas Groups, with activities in more than 130 countries. Its 97,000 employees put their expertise to work in every part of the industry – exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing, gas & power and trading. Total is working to keep the world supplied with energy, both today and tomorrow.

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future, developing the “greenprint” for how we will live and work tomorrow. Backed by the stability and reputation of the Mubadala Development Company, an investment vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the emirate’s long-term vision for the future of energy