King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) has signed a contract with the International Wind Power Company, a subsidiary of Al Babtain Power & Telecom, a leader in renewable energy and telecomm sectors to build Saudi Arabia’s first commercial wind farm.
Under the terms of the contract the International Wind Power Company will lease 102,000-sq m of land in the Industrial Valley on which to build wind turbines to generate electricity.
“We are delighted that the International Wind Power Company has chosen the Industrial Valley to produce renewable energy,” said Fahd Al-Rasheed, managing director and Group CEO of KAEC.
“This strategic partnership further enhances the Industrial Valley’s state of the art infrastructure and facilities and cements its reputation as the regional destination of choice for leading international and local companies in the logistics and light industry sectors.
“We continue to work toward the aims of Saudi Vision 2030 by opening the door to local and international companies who invest in ventures that diversify the Kingdom’s economy. Renewable energy is a promising sector that holds many development opportunities in the medium and long term,” he added.
The Al Babtain plant in the Industrial Valley is the company’s first investment in the field of generating renewable energy inputs in Saudi Arabia. Production is scheduled to begin in 2019.
“Saudi Arabia is witnessing a rapid increase in demand for electricity, especially due to the high population growth rate,” said Ibrahim Al Babtain, chairman of Al Babtain Power & Telecommunication Company.
“The project, which will be launched from King Abdullah Economic City, targets the Saudi market in the first place, then the GCC and the Middle East, and ultimately the international market.”
He went on to state that the newly established International Wind Power Company is in talks with the concerned authorities to be the supplier of the first renewable wind energy in the Kingdom as part of Saudi Arabia’s Renewable Energy Plan referred to in Saudi Vision 2030.
According to government estimates, Saudi peak energy demand is expected to exceed 120 GW by 2032, prompting the Kingdom to launch the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), which aims to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix, targeting the generation of 3.45 GW of renewable energy by 2020 and 9.5GW by 2023.
“Al Babtain’s decision reflects King Abdullah Economic City’s strong competitive offer, which is evidenced by the rapid growth being enjoyed by all sectors in the city,” said Ayman Mansi, CEO of the Industrial Valley.
“The ongoing development of the Industrial Valley continues to keep pace with the growing demand for industrial land by local and international investors excited by the opportunities of Saudi Vision 2030.”
King Abdullah Economic City is one of the biggest privately owned and run projects in the world. Its centrepiece is a comprehensive, 181-sq-km city on the eastern coast of the Red Sea, just north of Jeddah.