• Saudi Arabia has launched RFP for category B projects with large scale solar capacity under round 3 of the NREP
  • 49 companies, including 28 local firms, that have pre-qualified for the 1.2 GW tender will be eligible for this round
  • Timeline for RFP submission has been extended by 2 more months to now 6 months
  • Virtual meetings will be conducted to facilitate bidders’ conferences to make up for travel restrictions in place currently

The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) under Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy has launched a request for proposals (RFP) for Round 3 of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), for category B projects. REPDO announced round 3 earlier this year in January 2020 with both category A & B comprising 1.2 GW capacity (see Saudi Arabia Launches Solar Tender Under NREP Round 3).

Category B projects are the large scale projects comprising Ar Rass 700 MW Solar PV IPP and Saad 300 MW Solar PV IPP. RFP for category A projects with Wadi Ad Dawasir 120 MW Solar PV IPP and Layla 80 MW Solar PV IPP will be launched later this month, said REPDO.

The request for qualification (RFQ) phase for round 3 attracted 83 applications, of which 49 companies have pre-qualified including 28 local Saudi companies (see 49 Companies Pre-Qualified For Saudi’s Round 3).

For large scale projects under category B, international developers are especially targeted to invest in the Saudi kingdom, while category A projects with smaller capacities are more for local developers to participate in the NREP as lead members and hence have relaxed qualification criteria. There will be 18% local content requirement for projects under round 3.

A RFP can be submitted within 6 months, as the Ministry of Energy has extended the timeframe from 4 months previously in light of the business and travel restrictions in place, in all probability referring to COVID-19. To ensure continuity of the process, the ministry says it will be hosting virtual meetings to facilitate bidders’ conferences.

Winners will enter into 25-year power purchase agreements (PPA) with the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) as the offtaker.

In round 2 of the NREP, Saudi Arabia has shortlisted bidders for 1.47 GW solar tender capacity with several of the bids in the $0.01 range. Results will be announced this year.