Dubai’s Concentrated Solar Power plant build continues progress amidst COVID-19

While COVID-19 has impacted millions of organisations around the world, ‘the world’s largest solar thermal CSP’ build has maintained progress amidst challenging times.

The 700 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant Known as project Noor Energy 1 is, “the largest single-site concentrated solar power plant in the world, using a state-of-the-art combination of a central tower and parabolic trough concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies to collect energy from the sun,” commented ACWA Power.

“The US$4.4 billion project, which will be the world’s largest CSP plant, includes a 100 MW-central tower plant (CT), three 200 MW-parabolic trough (PT) plants and 250 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity,” said Worley in a company statement.

This CSP plant is being built for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), by a consortium between DEWA and ACWA Power – who has led the consortium since being awarded the project in 2017. This plant aims to support the Dubai Clean Energy strategy 2050 to increase the share of clean energy at Dubai to 25% by 2030, and will save 1.6mn tons of CO2.

Despite the current impact the outbreak of COVID-19 is having on organisations around the world, the construction of the Noor Energy 1 project is progressing despite the disruption the outbreak has caused.

In order to minimise labour, schedule and budget disruption, contractors from Spain, CHina, Belgium, Denmark and the US have rallied together, implementing measures to keep workers that are on-site safe and those working from home well connected.

To ensure that work could continue, Shanghai Electric – the projects EPC for Noor Energy 1 – as well as the construction subcontractor partners, have implemented a specialist virus prevention and control procedure alongside supplying PPE to all workers. In addition, due to global travel restrictions limiting staff movement Shanghai Electric has provided local workers for the project.

Alongside new measures to create a safe working environment for construction workers, design and engineering workers provided by Worley, have been largely unaffected due to their ability to work remotely. The consulting firm that is providing engineering, technology and technical review support to the Noor Energy 1 project, has been able to adapt its service as COVID-19, by connecting its workers through videoconferencing and regular project meetings.

“It’s a credit to every stakeholder involved that this strategically important project has progressed minimising schedule impacts despite facing significant logistical, staffing and supply chain challenges,” commented Gilein Steensma, Vice President EMEA, Energy Transition, Worley.

“It is a real testament to the commitment of the UAE to lead on the energy transition and showcases the combination of geographical distribution and strong capabilities of the contractors and subcontractors to adapt their approach to work around COVID-19 on what was already a technically challenging build,” Steensma concluded.