UAE Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohammad Al Mazroui
UAE Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohammad Al Mazroui (left), Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Khalid Al Falih (third from left) and other senior officials tour the pavilions after the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at Adnec on Monday. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia on Monday announced plans to develop a $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion) solar and carbon black integrated complex to speed up renewable energy programme in the country.

Carbon black is produced from heavy petroleum products and is commonly used as a filler in tyres and rubber products.

The country is conducting a feasibility study for the project and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with companies from China and South Korea, a Saudi official said.

“The Memorandum of Understanding is about conducting a feasibility study for an integrated complex that would make polysilicon available, which is basic raw material for the solar panels,” said Tariq Baksh, vice-president of chemicals and renewables programme, at Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Clusters Programme.

“The project would be supported by carbon black that is going to be a sort of integration in connection with energy production,” he said without disclosing further details.

The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the middle of this year.

Baksh was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia is targeting renewable energy of 58 gigawatts by 2030 and is planning to build a number of plants in the kingdom.

Last week, the country awarded the $500 million Dumat Al Jandal wind project to a consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles and Abu Dhabi-based energy company Masdar.