The consortium led by Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power International has won the 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) contract for phase 2 and 3 of Noor concentrated solar power (CSP) complex in Ouarzazate, Morocco.
The Saudi company, joined by Spanish CSP specialist SENER, will build a 200 MW parabolic trough plant and a 100 MW tower plant.
Abengoa and ACWA had reportedly offered the lowest bids among the selected bidders, which included the GDF SUEZ-Masdar and EDF-Alstom consortium.
The ACWA-SENER consortium has priced its offer at 1.36 dirhams per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the 200 MW plant with parabolic mirror technology, and 1.42 dirhams for the tower plant. One Moroccan dirham is about 0.11 USD.
ACWA is growing fast in the CSP market, it also won the phase 1 of Ouarzazate complex, a 160 MW parabolic trough plant currently under construction, the Bokpoort CSP plant, a 50 MW parabolic trough in South Africa and, more recently, it also won the tender for a 100 MW tower plant in South Africa in a joint venture with US SolarReserve.
ACWA is becoming a serious contender to lead the market for CSP, currently dominated by Spanish Abengoa. With the addition of Noor II & III, the company will have over 600 MW in its portfolio, but still far from the 2,200 MW built by Abengoa plus 300 MW under construction.
The plants are scheduled to start generating power in 2017.
To finance the plants, Morocco has secured loans of $519 million from the World Bank, 654 million euros from German state-owned bank KFW and the rest from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Commission and European Investment Bank.