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$1bn solar industrial park to be built in Saudi Arabia

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The latest update in Saudi Arabia’s investment plans to reduce the Kingdom’s reliance on oil comes from a $1 billion deal to build the Middle East’s first solar thin-film industrial park.

Chinese firm Hanergy Thin Film Power Group signed the investment co-operation agreement with Ajlan & Bros to construct the park. The two companies will collaborate on multiple energy manufacturing facilities throughout the Kingdom, and will be jointly seeking relevant investment opportunities.

Hanergy are one of the largest solar manufacturers in the world and specialise in thin film solar technology. Their solar cells have set the world record for conversion efficiency at 29.1%.

The agreement was signed as part of the launch event of Saudi Arabia National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) - one of 12 programs that make up the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative.

Saudi Vision is intended to transform the country’s industries over the next ten years, including transitioning in to sustainable energy resources. In 2011 solar power provided only 0.003 gigawatts of power throughout the nation, while oil provided over 50% of electricity. 

The government aim for a solar capacity of 41 gigawatts by 2032.

Wei Qiang, president of Hanergy Saudi Arabia Country Company said: “We realise the potential of renewable energy in Saudi Arabia and have set out an organized and specific road map to diversify our business in the country while supporting the advancement of renewable energy and fulfil the kingdom’s commitments to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“The collaboration with Ajlan & Bros could be a turning point for both Hanergy and solar industry of Saudi Arabia.”

Mohamed Al Ajlan, deputy chairman of Ajlan & Bros said:

“We are excited to collaborate with Hanergy. Thin-film power is a promising market, especially in Saudi Arabia. The renewable energy facilities are bound to reform the landscape of the country’s energy industry and help us achieve our goals in the 2030 vision.”

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