Saudi’s Zahid takes major stake in German PV company Greencells

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Via a capital increase, OMAS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Zahid Group, based in Saudi Arabia, has acquired a 50% stake in the German EPC, project development and O&M solar company.

Commenting on the strategic acquisition, a spokesperson for Greencells told pv magazine, “Greencells and Zahid together now cover the whole downstream value chain, from development to owning (BOT).”

They declined to divulge the investment amount, but did say that hybrid systems in the APAC – Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam – and African regions – Nigeria and Ghana – will be a focus for the company.

It also operates in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East and has, to date, got 1.3 GW of PV capacity under its belt across 100 projects in 25 countries.

Responding to whether or not it has been affected on a project development level by China’s decision in May to halt solar subsidies, the spokesperson said, “For us, very positive outlook, grid parity is there. Only some 2018 projects have moved to 2019 due to dropping panel prices making off takers wait for lower PPA rates and developers for lower EPC CAPEX.”

In Abu Dhabi, the company is working on the 1.17 GW Sweihan solar PV project, having supplied the mounting systems and construction services. The spokesperson said that the project is 70% complete and is on track to be commissioned in Q4 2018. They added that everything is going according to plan.

When complete, the mega project will become the world’s largest single site PV system. Last June, India-based Sterling and Wilson won the EPC and O&M contract.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority (ADWEA), which is building the plant in partnership with Chinese module maker, JinkoSolar and Japanese trading company, Marubeni Corp., announced the close of the financing for the project late last May.

At US$0.0294/kWh, the project has secured one of the lowest electricity prices ever seen in a utility scale PV project. Last March, JinkoSolar and Marubeni signed a 25-year PPA for the project with ADWEA.

The article was amended on August 2, 2018 at 13.54 to amend the tariff rate for the Sweihan project and to make it clear that Greencells did not sell a stake, but rather received additional capital.