Property deal signed for phase one of planned 1 GW Saudi PV fab

Saudi Arabia’s "National Transformation" program for its energy sector took a giant stride towards solar today following the news that the Al-Afandi Group has signed a property contract with the Saudi Royal Commission to allow it to develop phase one of its planned solar panel factory.

The group hopes to build a 1 GW fab, and will begin with phase one of the project shortly. The facility is to be located at a 55,000 square meter site in the city of Yanbu, and will boast a 120 MW solar panel capacity – the equivalent of 450,000 solar panels annually – at the end of phase one.

The development contract was signed between Al-Afandi’s chairman, Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Afandi, and the CEO of the Royal Commission in Yanbu, A’laa bin Abdullah Naseef. The Al-Afandi Group hopes to increase the level of renewable penetration in the Saudi Arabian energy mix, and has stated that this solar panel fab will support the national economy, increase local content capacity and form part of the National Transformation program.

The Al-Afandi Group also confirmed that the fab will boast a fully integrated production line from scratch, including the smelting of polysilicon to produce ingots, full wafer process, and complete panel creation and glass finishing. The production line will be fully automated.

Following the completion of phase one, Al-Afandi Group will work towards an eventual capacity at the plant of 1 GW, according to the group’s business development director Al-Rasheed Alkibsy.