France's Total to join world's largest solar power plant project

08:32, June 10, 2010      

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French oil and energy company Total announced Wednesday it would join a Spanish construction firm in the world's largest solar power plant project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Masdar, a leading UAE company specializing in renewable energy solutions and clean technologies, had appointed Total and Spain's Abengoa Solar as foreign partners to own, build and operate the Shams 1 project, Total said in a statement.

Shams 1, to be located in Madinat Zayed, 120 km southwest of Abu Dhabi, would be the world's largest concentrated solar power plant and the first of its kind in the Middle East, the statement said.

Extending over an area of 2.5 square km with a solar field consisting of 768 parabolic trough collectors to be supplied by Abengoa Solar, the program is expected to have a capacity of approximately 100 megawatts, according to the statement.

The Paris-based company said Masdar was the major shareholder in the joint venture with a 60 percent holding while Total and Abengoa would each hold 20 percent.

Construction is set to begin in the third quarter this year and is expected to take approximately two years.

Registered as a project under the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism, Shams 1 aims to "displace approximately 175,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or removing 15,000 cars from Abu Dhabi's roads," the statement said.



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