Shanghai Electric announced on Friday that Phase B of 900-megawatt (MW) fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai is complete and operational.

The press statement didn’t mention the capacity but Phase A with a capacity of 330MW was connected to the grid in 2021, according to a Zawya Projects report.  The project, which is being commissioned in stages until 2023, consists of Phases A, B and C, and is equipped with bifacial solar photovoltaic panels.

Meng Chuanmin, Project Manager said work on Phase C is well underway and is expected to complete in 2023.

On 22 August 2022, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) had said in a press statement that Phase 5 is progressing with the second project [Phase B] 93.3 per cent complete while the third project [Phase C] is 23.06 per cent complete. 

Shanghai Electric was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Phase 5 in July 2020.

Meng pointed out that COVID-19 pandemic had severely disrupted global supply chains, but the Shanghai Electric team ensured timely procurement and delivery of materials for the project.

Other construction-related challenges that were overcome, according to the statement, included:

  • Compared to the pre-pandemic period, container shipment has become widely unavailable, with transportation prices for cables having generally increased by a factor of ten. To ensure the project can be completed on schedule, the team decided to ship cables via bulk carriers, despite the new solution driving up the workload.
  • Due to the natural movement and fluidity of sand dunes, the team later discovered that the construction site was elevated by hundreds of thousands of cubic metres compared to the previously surveyed value, translating to an addition of $3 million to the overall cost. After a thorough investigation and research, Shanghai Electric came up with a plan that helped the team solve the issue while guaranteeing no interruption was caused to the construction progress.

The statement said the project will supply 2.268 billion kWh per year upon completion, enough to serve up over 240,000 homes and reducing 1.1 million tonnes of carbon emission annually.

Phase 5 is being developed by consortium of ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation at an investment of 2.058 billion UAE dirhams ($560 million).

The press statement also noted that the company is also participating in the construction of the 950MW fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which includes a 700MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant and a 250MW photovoltaic (PV) plant.

The 100 MW CSP tower plant and the 200MW parabolic trough plant-II are scheduled to be connected to the grid at the end of 2022.

DEWA had said last month that Phase 4’s overall construction is 90 per cent complete.

SDC Code: 4345774158

(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)