- A 350 MW tender was floated by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority in December 2015
- Out of the total 90 companies that expressed interest, the final bid submissions came from six companies/consortiums
- An Asian consortium led by Marubeni of Japan and JinkoSolar of China leads the race with a tariff offer as low as $2.42 cents per kWh
- Marubeni/Jinko has offered to expand the 350 MW Sweihan capacity to 1,170 MW for $2.30 cents per kWh, according to local media
According to ADEWA, there is still a chance someone else than Marubeni might win
When Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) opened the bids it received for its 350 MW tendered capacity on September 19, 2016, the result was a surprise. Though the final call is yet to be taken, it isn’t domestic company Masdar that’s leading the race as of now, but a consortium of Chinese module maker JinkoSolar and Japanese investment firm Marubeni Corporation. The two have offered a price of $2.42 cents per kWh, while the consortium of Masdar, EDF and PAL stand at second position with a bid of $2.53 cents per kWh.
While ADWEA stated that out of all the proposals, Marubeni and JinkoSolar offered the ‘most competitive proposal with a weighted levelized electricity cost (LEC) of 8.888 Fils ($2.42 cents) per kWh’, it didn’t mention any more details. Nonetheless, local newspaper The National reported that the Asian consortium has offered to expand the 350 MW Sweihan solar power plant to 1,170 MW for $2.30 cents per kWh.
In May 2016, ADWEA had published first results with a list of 34 pre-qualified bidders (see Abu Dhabi Solar Plant). In the final list released on September 19, 2016, the number came down to six, including several experienced players in the solar tendering field.
Game still open
Government backed Masdar had formed a joint front with French energy company EDF in June 2016 (see Masdar & EDF Project in Abu Dhabi). It was expected to make the most competitive bid after it won the 800 MW Phase III DEWA tender early this year at $3.00 cents per kWh (see Real Cheap Solar). While four companies have offered prices below the recent DEWA record power price and JinkoSolar is currently in the lead, it will be interesting to see if Abu Dhabi will really give away that project to an Asian consortium, rather than to its domestic contender. At least, the official tender summary indicated that there’s still a chance for Masdar. “The information in this summary is taken directly from the Bidders’ submissions and is subject to the Advisors’ further review and verification over the next few weeks of the due diligence process which may result in changes.”
Once the bidders are chosen, they will own 40% of the project; the remaining equity will be owned by ADWEA. It will be structured as an independent power project.