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ACWA Power Says It’s Named Best Bidder for Mecca Solar Plant

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- ACWA Power International said its offer to build a solar power plant in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca was deemed the best by municipal authorities running the tender as they work toward a final decision to award a contract.

The company intends to push into solar power in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom prepares additional tenders this year, Rohit Gokhale, director of acquisitions and project finance, said at a conference in Dubai. ACWA last year bought a solar plant in Bulgaria and is developing ones in Morocco and South Africa, helping it gain an understanding of the industry.

The Mecca municipality wants to build a plant as large as 100 megawatts, making it the first Saudi city to operate a utility-scale plant generating power from renewables. The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy aims to build 41,000 megawatts of power from renewables over the next two decades, which would account for one third of the capacity the country is forecast to have by that time.

Riyadh-based ACWA’s bid for the Mecca project was deemed best since it pledged to build the plant, recover its investment costs and turn over ownership of the facility to the city in a time period shorter than other bidders, Gokhale said at the MEED project finance conference in Dubai.

He didn’t specify the time or the price ACWA would charge for power from the plant.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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