India's Larsen & Toubro announced on Sunday that it has won a construction contract for Saudi Arabia's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant with a signed power purchase agreement.

The engineering conglomerate said in a statement that the renewables arm of its Power Transmission & Distribution Business secured a turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the 1.5-gigawatt (GW) Sudair Solar PV Project.

The contract was awarded by a consortium of ACWA Power and the Water and Electricity Holding Company, a subsidiary of the Public Investments Fund (PIF), the L&T press statement said.

The Sudair award follows the official inauguration of the 300-megawatt (MW) Sakaka PV Independent Power Project (IPP), Saudi Arabia's first utility-scale renewable energy project, this week.

L&T's statement didn't disclose actual contract value but said it is a 'major' contract, which the company has categorises in the 5,000 to 7,000 Indian Rupee crores ($669 million to $937 million) range.   

Earlier this week, local newspaper Arab News had reported that the consortium would invest 3.4 billion Saudi riyals ($907 million) in the project.

The L&T statement said the project would come up on a 30.8-square kilometre land parcel in Riyadh Province.

The Sudair Solar PV Project, according to the statement, forms part of the 70 percent of the target capacity of 58.7 GW of the Kingdom that has been assigned to PIF, while the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) would undertake competitive tendering for the remaining 30 percent, as announced by the Ministry of Energy in 2019.

L&T's CEO & Managing Director S N Subrahmanyan said securing the project is a significant milestone in the company's clean and green energy path to fight the climate crisis. 

"L&T has over 2.1 GW of Utility-Scale Solar projects commissioned and are also operating and maintaining several of them. We have a diversified renewable portfolio of 32 MW Floating Solar Power Plants, 135 MWh of Battery Energy Storage projects, 500 Micro Grids, and 14,000 Solar Water Pumps. L&T is also working on potential solutions related to Green Hydrogen and Carbon Capture & Storage technologies," he added.
T Madhava Das, Whole-Time Director & Senior Executive Vice President (Utilities), said: "KSA aims to become a pioneer in Renewable Energy, and we are happy to be a part of this journey. We have been building efficient power transmission and distribution networks with modern substations and transmission lines in this region for more than two decades. This is yet another recognition of our capabilities to construct mega projects to speed and scale."

Arab News had reported that the first phase of the project is expected to begin producing electricity during the second half of 2022.

(1US Dollar74.73 Indian Rupees)

(Writing by Anoop Menon; Editing by Bhaskar Raj)

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