Qatar Solar kicks off with 300MW

A Qatar-based venture has opened a PV module plant with a 300MW production capacity, and announced orders in Asia totalling the same amount.

Qatar Solar Energy (QSE) claimed the plant in Doha is the biggest of its type in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and hopes to eventually expand it to as much as 2.5GW of capacity.

QSE said it has already struck a deal to deploy 150MW of solar each in Japan and Thailand with investment groups Jermyn Capital and Power Capital respectively.

The plant “combines research, technology development, manufacturing, and project development and deployment under one roof, forming a fully integrated value chain from raw materials to the end-user”, said QSE.

The company said it has set up its own Al Jazari centre of excellence in solar, and co-operates with other research bodies around the world while using  production kit from the likes of Meyer Burger and GT Advanced.

Like other states in the Middle East, Qatar is looking to the solar sector to help diversify their fossil-centric economies, and to meet surging power demand without tapping into oil and gas reserves that could earn more as exports.

Qatar has indirectly bought a 29% stake in Germany’s SolarWorld, and is building a polysilicon factory in the emirate.