Algeria issues 150 MW solar tender

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The Algerian Electricity and Gas Regulation Commission (CREG) has issued a tender for the construction of several PV power plants with a combined capacity of 150 MW in southwestern Algeria on November 18.

The projects, which must be in the range of 10 MW to 50 MW, will be developed on a Build – Own – Operate (BOO) basis and will be awarded a 20-year PPA.

Around 50 MW of capacity will be deployed in Guerara, in the region of Ghardaïa, while another 50 MW will be located in Diffel, in the region of Biskra. The region of Ouargla will host a further three 10 MW installations in the municipalities of Meggarine, Nezla, and Belhirane, while the region of El Oued will see the deployment of two solar plants of the same size in Tendala and Nakhla.

Interested developers have until February 19, 2019, to submit their project proposals. Local private and public entities will be allowed to participate in the reverse auction process in consortia with foreign players in a 51/49 joint venture scheme.

The president of Algerian solar energy association, Club Energia (branch of FCE), and managing director of Tell Group, Mouloud Bakli told pv magazine that bids must be submitted with an LCOE based on DZD/kWh, and that IPP consortia may be investment vehicles, which are able to bid together with an Algerian investor.

He also confirmed that the tender includes local content requirements for modules, mounting structures and cables. Bidders must source these components locally from the existing supply chain.

Manufacturing landscape

Most of Algeria’s existing and upcoming module factories are capable of producing the latest technologies, including glass-glass, mono PERC, and bifacial panels, according to Bakli. Apart from solar cells, most PV components like glass, junction boxes, aluminium frames and transparent films will be manufactured in the country, he added.

“There is now a solid growing solar manufacturing industry base under development in Algeria. We estimate that around 500 MW of solar module assembly capacity will be operational in the country by the second half of 2019,” he told pv magazine in May. “We also have several companies launching good quality mounting structures factories, and some of them under joint venture schemes,” he continued.

Inverters, however, will still to have to be imported, like in most emerging PV markets. We don’t believe there is huge added value in doing local manufacturing at this stage of our PV adoption and volume in the country, he said.

The Algerian Government approved this and another 50 MW tender for the development of off-grid hybrid gas/diesel and solar projects in early June.

The second tender, which will be held by Algerian state-owned power and gas provider, Sonelgaz thorugh its unit SKTM, is aimed at drastically lowering the cost of existing power generation stations in the south of Algeria, which are mostly based on fossil fuels. It will also include local content requirements like those included by the CREG in the 150 MW tender issued on November 18.

Both tenders are part of the country’s plan to deploy 22 GW of renewable energy power generation capacity by 2030, including 13.6 GW of PV.