Algeria signs deal to build largest solar plant in Africa
Under the €290m deal, the solar module facility will produce 116MWp of solar modules, 30km east of the capital Algiers.
The agreement with state utility Société Nationale de l’Electricité et du Gaz (Sonelgaz) will see a factory built that covers the entire solar value chain, from ingot production and solar cell manufacturing.
Centrotherm said this high-degree of integration in the production of solar wafers, cells and modules allows low production costs to be achieved.
With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Algeria has a natural receptive climate to solar power. In Germany where centrotherm is based, for instance, records just 1,500 sunshine hours.
Algeria, according to sources inside the country, is looking to derive six to eight per cent of its electricity from renewable power technologies by 2020.
As part of the turnkey project, centrotherm will deliver all of the photovoltaic systems on a turnkey basis, ranging from multi-crystalline ingot furnaces and ingot manufacturing through to module production.
Kinetics, meanwhile, will be responsible for engineering services, construction management and the turnkey production of the building.
‘It gives us pleasure to be able to support Sonelgaz in this groundbreaking photovoltaic project. Our expertise as a photovoltaic technology leader, the lowest production costs per watt-peak, and our many years of experience in turnkey projects proved persuasive to our Algerian customers,’ said Robert Hartung, CEO and management board chairman of centrotherm.
‘Solar energy possesses great market potential particularly in very sunny countries such as Algeria, or in the Arabian region, because it is unrivalled in terms of cost compared with other energy sources.’