Marubeni Corp. and Total SA agreed to take a minority stake in a 1.7 billion-riyal ($464 million) project to build Qatar’s first solar power plant.
The companies will contribute funds and technological expertise for a combined 40% stake in the 800-megawatt Al-Kharsaah solar project, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said at a signing ceremony on Sunday in Doha. A joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Electricity & Water Co. will hold the remaining 60%.
Like many of its oil-rich neighbors, Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is pushing into solar power and other forms of renewables for its local energy needs. Al-Kharsaah will be able to supply about a 10th of Qatar’s power when it starts supplying at full capacity in the first quarter of 2022, Al-Kaabi said.
Marubeni will invest about $95 million in the plant, for 20.4% of the total project, while Total will contribute about $91 million, for a 19.6% share, Al-Kaabi and Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said at a news conference. Siraj Energy, the Qatari joint venture, will own the rest.
State-run Qatar Petroleum, where Al-Kaabi is also the chief, wants to build four new gas liquefaction plants, known as trains, and is negotiating a possible partnership with energy majors. Qatar will decide this year whether it wants international partners to help expand the North Field, its part of the world’s largest gas deposit, Al-Kaabi said last month in Kuwait.
The agreement with Marubeni and Total “has absolutely nothing to do with the North Field bidding process,” he said.