A group of Spanish companies have expressed willingness to enter into partnership with their Saudi counterparts to set up plants for production of solar energy to meet local demand and export to foreign countries, a senior diplomat at the Spanish Embassy said.
Spanish Commercial Attache Juan Bordeal, speaking at a meeting organized by the Spanish trade mission in Riyadh, said the Spanish companies targeted the Kingdom for being the biggest world oil consuming country to produce energy, which makes it imperative to find alternatives. The Spanish companies see Saudi climate gives good catalysts to help expand solar energy production and meet foreign and local demand, he added.
He said a delegation representing key Spanish industrial firms has recently explored investments opportunities in clean and renewable energy, briefed on documents to be issued by King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) on the volume of the required energy as well as aspects of business cooperation with the Saudi-Spanish Business Council (SSBC).
The Spanish diplomat said there were nine joint investment projects between Saudi and Spanish businessmen worth 143 million (SR 536.25 million).
He cited a study recently conducted by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), which says that Saudi Arabia will, in the coming 20 years, face an increased demand on oil for local consumption. However, its plans to use energy alternatives will positively boost its oil exports and stabilize economy since oil is its major income source.
Chairman of SSBC Abdullah Al-Rashid said Saudi businessmen and their Spanish counterparts in the private sector have worked out a plan aimed at bolstering business and investment cooperation and enhancing trade exchange between the two countries which currently stands at 7.5 billion euros.
The volume of trade between the two countries is expected to witness an outstanding growth in the next three years, he said.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly Spain’s third largest Arab partner and ranked 12th among the exporter countries to Spain from outside the European Union (EU) countries. The scope of trade between the two countries covers chemical and metal products, plastics, fabrics and textiles, medical and surgical supplies, and wooden products.