LNG rich Qatar is now focusing on alternative sources to meet the energy demand in the country. Saad al-Kaabi, the country's energy minister, announced about this innovative Solar power plant project. Qatar already signed an agreement with two global energy giants, France's Total and Marubeni, from Japan. They got the plan for building an advanced solar power plant in the country, which can produce at least 800 megawatts of energy.
According to Qatar's energy minister, this is about one-tenth of the peak energy demand in the country. The Al Kharsaah solar power plant is expected to be completed by 2022 and will cost around 467 million USD, which is equivalent to 1.7 billion riyals. It is the same time when Qatar would be hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Last Sunday, Saad al-Kaabi, Qatar's Energy Minister, said, "Today is the commencement of the project itself and we expected by the first quarter of 2021 to have half of the [plant's] capacity up and running. It will generate about eight times the size of the solar energy Qatar had pledged to build, helping the organization of a carbon-neutral event."
The Solar Power Plant's sixty percent stake will be under Siraj Energy. It is a joint venture whose owner's are Qatar Electricity, Qatar Petroleum, and Qatar Water Company. These are the three leading government organizations in the country. The FDI companies, Marubeni and Total, will hold the remaining forty percent stake. Furthermore, Marubeni and Total mutually agreed to share the minority stake among them in a ratio of 51:49 percent.
It is also the largest solar power project ever built by any French conglomerate, and Total's chief executive, Patrick Pouyanne, boasted for that to the media. Gulf states already made massive investments in billions on the alternative energy projects as their primary dependency is on oil and gas resources. These alternative energy projects are mainly in solar and nuclear sectors. However, critics say most of these projects are unsuccessful in producing the desired output.
UAE's first nuclear power plant will be operational in about a month. There were substantial delays as it did not meet the safety and regulatory conditions. It will be the Middle East's first operational nuclear reactor producing alternative energy resources. Saudi Arabia, who is the top crude oil exporter in the world, also announced about their plans to build around sixteen nuclear reactors in the country. However, there's no latest update for this plan to get materialized.