Jameel Targets Saudi Solar-Power Push With Spain’s FRV

Abdul Latif Jameel Co., a Saudi Arabian holding company, teamed up with a European partner to build projects in the Arab nation’s $100 billion solar program.

Jameel will work with Spain’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures to develop power plants, Roberto de Diego Arozamena, chief executive officer of the Jeddah-based company, said today in an interview in Abu Dhabi. The partners will look at projects of about 100 megawatts, costing about $130 million each, he said.

Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is investing in solar power to diversify its energy mix and retain more crude for export. The country plans to build 41,000 megawatts of solar plants by 2032, almost matching its current installed power-generation capacity.

The venture with FRV, as the Spanish company is known, will also seek to develop power projects in North Africa and Turkey, as well as other Persian Gulf countries, Arozamena said. It will bid on a 100-megawatt solar plant planned by Dubai’s state-owned utility and may develop 80 megawatts of projects in Jordan and Egypt, as well as others in Morocco, he said.

Developers are waiting for Saudi Arabia to start a first round of solar-power tenders, while neighboring Abu Dhabi and Dubai have already built more than 100 megawatts of such plants. Jameel and FRV will probably collaborate for about three years, the time it takes Saudi Arabia to run two renewable-energy bidding rounds, before reevaluating their venture, Arozamena said.

(Corrects company acronym in headline in story published Jan. 20.)
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