The 10 MW facility is located in Tozeur, in southern Tunisia. The project was also financed by the German development bank KFW under Tunisia’s solar program Plan Solaire Tunisien (PST).
All five offers received by the Tunisian government were under the three-cent threshold. The lowest bid was for a 200 MW solar plant Norwegian developer Scatec intends to build in the Tataouine province.
Through this procurement exercise, the Tunisian government hopes to build six solar plants with a capacity of 10 MW each and ten 1 MW small solar parks.
The manufacturer plans to add 350 MW of manufacturing capacity at its two sites in Tunisia by next year. The ramping up is due to new orders from India and other foreign markets.
The 10 MW project in the Tatouine governorate was selected in the 70 MW solar tender which the Tunisian government issued in May 2017. The plant is being built by Italian oil company Eni and Tunisian oil provider ETAP.
The power line, under development by Italian transmission company Terna and Tunisian gas and electricity group STEG since 2003, was originally conceived to export power generated in Tunisia to Italy but is now based on an electricity exchange in the opposite direction.
The Italian energy company has started construction of a 10 MW solar plant at its Bhit gas field in Pakistan and a 5 MW facility at the ADAM oil concession in Tunisia. It has also begun work on a 30 MW solar plant at its industrial site in Sassari, Italy.
The region’s climate, developing economies and demographic growth are driving increased electricity demand in the Middle East and North Africa. However, as a hub of conventional energy supply, the region has been slow to embrace PV. To capture more of the value chain and deliver the full potential of solar, there are increasing calls for distributed generation deployment to play a bigger role.
Up to 16 developers have prequalified in Tunisia’s tender for five PV projects totaling 500 MW, from a total of 38 participants. Unlike previous tenders, this one has attracted key international players including Enel, Engie, EDF, Fotowatio, TBEA and Canadian Solar.
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