• The consortium of Engie and Nareva Holding has secured 120 MW solar power capacity in Tunisia
  • Their win is part of the country’s 500 MW solar PV tender launched in May 2018
  • To win this capacity, the two companies had offered TND 79.9/kWh as the winning bid

The Tunisian Ministry of Mines and Energy has selected the consortium of France’s Engie and Morocco’s Nareva Holding to build the 120 MW Gafsa solar power plant in the North African country. The consortium secured the project in a 500 MW tender launched in May 2018 (see Big Names Make Beeline For 500 MW Tunisia Tender).

Both the companies will set up the project, secure financing and also maintain it under a 20-year power purchase agreement with state utility Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG).

Nareva and Engie collaborated on a 300 MW wind farm in Morocco earlier, but the Gafsa project is the first for them in Tunisia. It will be one of the first solar independent power producer (IPP) projects in the country, said Engie.

To win this project, Engie and Nareva offered a bid of TND 79.9 ($0.0272) per kWh. In fact, all the shortlisted bids for the 500 MW tender were below $0.03 per kWh as shared by Mehdi Majoul, an advisor to the Ministry of Industry and Small & Medium Enterprises on his social media page.

Scatec Solar of Norway won the largest capacity with 360 MW; it offered the lowest winning bid of $0.0244 per kWh for a 200 MW project. Later AMEA Power of UAE and China’s TBEA Xinjiang New Energy claimed winning 100 MW in the auction to be set up in Kairouan region (see AMEA & TBEA Win 100 MW Solar In Tunisia).

Tunisia is working towards a future where 30% of its electricity supply will come from renewable energy accounting for 3,800 MW by 2030. The country celebrated the commissioning of its first ‘large-scale’ solar PV power plant with the 10 MW Tozeur I PV project in August 2019 (see First Large-Scale PV Plant Grid Connected In Tunisia).

According to Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2019 of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Tunisia’s total renewable energy capacity till the end of 2018 was 358 MW with solar power contributing 47 MW.