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World’s largest CSP plant on track despite COVID-19

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Credit: Angie Warren on Unsplash.

The 700 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant being built for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) by a consortium between DEWA and ACWA Power called NoorEnergy 1 is progressing despite COVID-19, the owner’s engineer Worley said.

Contractors from Spain, China, Belgium, Denmark and the U.S. have worked to minimize labor, schedule and budget disruptions by adopting measures to help keep onsite workers safe and those working from home well-connected to the job site.

Shanghai Electric, the project’s EPC with Noor Energy 1 and construction partners, implemented virus prevention and control procedures and supplied PPE to all workers. With global travel restrictions limiting staff movement and many staff havaing been unable to return following Chinese New Year in January, Shanghai Electric replaced them with workers local to the project.

With the ability to work remotely, design and engineering work has been largely unaffected. Worley, the consulting firm that is providing engineering, technology and technical review support to the project, has been able to adapt as COVID-19 progresses via videoconferencing and regular project meetings.

The $4.4 billion project, which will be the world’s largest CSP plant once it comes online, includes a 100-MW central tower plant (CT), three 200-MW parabolic trough (PT) plants and 250-MW of (photovoltaic) PV capacity.

Gilein Steensma, Vice President EMEA, Energy Transition, Worley said, “It’s a credit to every stakeholder involved that this strategically important project has progressed minimizing schedule impacts despite facing significant logistical, staffing and supply chain challenges.

“It is a real testament to the commitment of the UAE to lead on the energy transition and showcases the combination of geographical distribution and strong capabilities of the contractors and subcontractors to adapt their approach to work around COVID-19 on what was already a technically challenging build.”