Abu Dhabi, 17th January 2018: Today at the Saudi Arabian Pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit 2018 in Abu Dhabi, Desert Technologies announced the completion of the 100MW capacity solar photovoltaic module factory located in the industrial area of Khumra, Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during the panel presentation “The Desert Technologies Solar PV Module and the Localization of the Solar Energy Value Chain in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

The fully automated module assembly line consists of state-of-the-art equipment from Meyer Burger, Reis Robotics and Burkle, global leaders in equipment supplies for the photovoltaic module manufacturing industry. The crystalline silicon panels will be protected by DuPont™ Tedlar®-based backsheet, to help provide durable and reliable electrical and weather protection, particularly important in harsh climatic conditions, such as those found in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The completed factory is now the largest privately owned solar photovoltaic module facility in Saudi Arabia, producing more than 8MW of modules per month at full capacity, and was supported with a loan from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund. The factory’s launch coincides with the announcement of 3.2 GW of new solar photovoltaic capacity to be procured in Saudi Arabia during 2018 as well as increased levels of mandatory localization in subsequent rounds beyond the 30% requirement in Round 1.

Nour Mousa, Chief Executive Officer of Desert Technologies, and moderator of the panel discussion commented: “After years of hard work, we are immensely proud to launch our 100MW factory, which is just the first step in an ambitious multi-year expansion plan aiming to achieve 1500MW in capacity across the value chain by 2023. This major first step shows that as the Government acts on its intention to promote localization of the solar photovoltaic industry in accordance with Vision 2030, the private sector will respond and deliver.”

As well as announcing the completion of the factory, Dr. Nabih Cherradi, Chief Technology Officer of Desert Technologies, also announced the launch of the DT01X-72 polycrystalline 72 cell module with a power output up to 335 watts. “We are taking orders now on our flagship DT01X-72 module, with the first deliveries scheduled for the second quarter of 2018” he commented, adding: “Exceptional raw material selection has resulted in an exceptional module, strongly suited to difficult environments such as the Arabian desert”.

Khaled Sharbatly, a Partner in Desert Technologies, stated during the panel discussion that “The Saudi Arabian photovoltaic energy market is primed for explosive growth. The phased removal of water, electricity and fuel subsidies in accordance with the Fiscal Balance Program 2020 over the coming years as well as the introduction of the Net Metering regulations by the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority, mean that we are seeing rising private sector demand both on and off the grid, as well as the upcoming second round of large scale photovoltaic projects by the government.”

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