Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia is planning to tender seven renewable energy projects by mid-2019 to attract total investment of $1.51 billion (Dh5.5 billion), according to an announcement by the kingdom’s ministry of energy, industry and mineral resources on Tuesday.

The announcement represents the next phase in Saudi Arabia’s ambitious renewable energy plans, which seek to achieve over 25 gigawatts of wind and solar power generation in the next five years, and close to 60GW over the next decade, of which 40GW will be generated from solar energy, with a further 16GW of onshore wind.

The kingdom launched Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for seven solar PV projects during the launch of the National Industry Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) in Riyadh, which was attended by top officials including the crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

With a combined generation capacity of 1.51 gigawatts, the seven projects will supply enough energy to power 226,500 households. The total investment in the projects is expected to be worth $1.51 billion, creating over 4,500 jobs during construction, operations and maintenance.

The projects include Qurrayat (200 megawatts), Madinah (50 MW), Rafha (45 MW), Alfaisaliah (600 MW), Rabigh (300 MW), Jeddah (300 MW) and Mahad Duhab (20 MW), the statement said.

Saudi Arabia aims to create over the next decade a global hub of renewable energy capability upwards of 200 GW, spanning the entire value chain from local manufacturing to project development, domestically and abroad.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid Al Falih said during the world future energy summit in Abu Dhabi earlier this month that not less than 12 renewable projects will be tendered in 2019.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia will introduce nuclear power into the energy initially with two reactors in the next decade with a combined production of 2 to 3.2 gigawatts.

Saudi Arabia signs deals worth 205 billion riyals

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia signed 37 agreements and memorandums of understanding worth 205 billion riyals ($54.4 billion) during the launch of NIDLP in Riyadh, according to an announcement on Saudi Press Agency (SPA). In addition, another 29 agreements and memorandums of understanding, which were declared and to be signed, later on, between the government agencies and private sector institutions.

The National Industry Development and Logistics Program is one of the important and biggest 13 programmes in the Kingdom Vision 2030. This programme consolidates integration in the sectors of industry, mining, energy, and logistics.

“By 2030, the programme aims to increase the contribution of the four sectors; industry, mining, logistics and energy in the GDP into SR [Saudi riyals] 1.2 trillion. The programme seeks to stimulate investments worth more than SR 1.7 trillion, raise non-oil exports to more than SR 1 trillion, and develop the labour market through creating 1.6 million new jobs,” SPA quoted Al Falih as saying.

The development comes as Saudi Arabia tries to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenue as part of vision of 2030. A number of new initiatives were launched in the last two years as oil prices traded lower hitting the revenues of the Middle East’s largest economy.