Mott MacDonald’s role as lenders’ engineer on Shams 1, one of the
largest concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in the world, has
reached a key milestone with the announcement that it has achieved
financial close. The US$600 million deal is the largest solar
project transaction in the world to date and combines financing
from 10 regional and international lenders. The plant is located in
Madinat Zayed, approximately 120km southwest of Abu Dhabi in the
United Arab Emirates.
The 100MW CSP plant is being developed, built and will be operated
by the Shams Power Company, a joint venture between Masdar (60%),
Total (20%) and Abengoa (20%). The first of its kind in the Middle
East, Shams 1 is set to directly contribute towards Abu Dhabi’s
target of achieving seven per cent renewable energy power
generation capacity by 2020.
Shams 1 is the first CSP plant registered as a project under the
United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism. The plant will
displace approximately 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year,
equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or removing 15,000 cars
from Abu Dhabi’s roads.
Mott MacDonald’s role to date has included reviewing the project
participants, site design and performance model as well as
technology, environmental conditions and financial model. The
consultancy will also be monitoring construction and operations at
Mott MacDonald’s project director David Harridge said, “We are
delighted to be part of this project. The plant will contribute
towards the diversification of the United Arab Emirates’ energy
production mix and help reduce the country’s carbon
The importance of the project is further highlighted by the fact
that Shams 1 was recently awarded the Middle EastRenewables Deal of
the Year 2010 by Project Finance Magazine.