Interestingly, its report shows collaboration in R&D with state-owned firms and institutions, but does not include King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), which spearheads the Kingdom’s alternative energy program. KACARE also aims to sell power to the Saudi market by 2016, but its first projects look set to be delayed. Aramco aims to enter the power market in 2016, selling fossil-fuel produced power to state-owned Saudi Electricity Company (MEES, 22 March).

Aramco conducted a study in 2012 for an integrated 650mw renewable-based power plant using gas, solar thermal and wind power generation around the city of Duba on the northern Red Sea coast. The plant is a hybrid – on windless nights it will run on gas – helping offset the cost of building a pure solar plant, which would only produce power half of the time. It can potentially replace about 33,000 b/d of diesel: conventional diesel plants are used in remote sites that are off-grid. It would be the largest renewable energy plant in the Gulf – the biggest to date is a 100mw solar plant in Abu Dhabi. Aramco’s project is under development and on target for completion in 2016. (CONTINUED - 912 WORDS)