Scatec Solar secured 300 MW of solar capacity in 500 MW Tunisia auction

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Norwegian solar developer Scatec Solar ASA has confirmed it secured the lion’s share of the PV generation capacity available in the 500 MW tender held by the Tunisian government in the summer.

Scatec today announced it had secured the largest of the five projects available, a 200 MW facility planned at Tataouine, as well as two 50 MW schemes, in Tozeur and Sidi Bouzid.

A press release issued by Scatec today to publicize its 400 MW of Tunisian project capacity – reported in direct current terms as 240 MW and two 60 MW assets – did not state how much electricity off-taker Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz would pay for the solar power under the 20-year power purchase agreement available. However Mehdi Majoul, an advisor to Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy, in July revealed Scatec had bid the lowest tariff in the procurement exercise. Majoul said Scatec had offered to accept TND0.0718/kWh ($0.025) for the energy generated at Tataouine and added an unspecified bidder had offered the lowest bids of TND0.0793 for the facilities in Sidi Bouzid and Tozeur.

A Scatec spokesperson told pv magazine construction was expected to start next year with the projects expected to require investment of “somewhat below $360 million”.

Tunisian debut

“We are excited to secure our first projects in Tunisia, supporting the government’s target to reach 30% electricity production from renewables by 2030,” said Scatec CEO Raymond Carlsen in the press release. “We have solid experience from successful development, execution and operation of projects in Africa and the Middle East over the last years that we bring with us as we enter this new market.”

Scatec, which will act as lead equity investor in the projects, will provide engineering, procurement and construction and operations and maintenance services as well as acting as asset manager.

Today’s announcement did not reveal which developers were successful in securing the remaining two projects tendered, 100 MW installations planned for Gafsa and Kairouan. Government advisor Majoul told pv magazine in the summer, other bidders included oil and gas giants Enel, Engie, Total and EDF – the latter in a joint bid with state-owned UAE investor Masdar and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui. Other contenders reportedly included PV developers Canadian Solar, Spanish rivals Acciona and Fotowatio, French companies GreenYellow, Akuo and Voltalia, Saudi power company ACWA and Chinese state-owned entity TBEA.

This article was amended on 17/12/19 to include the information provided by the Scatec spokesperson above.