Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has announced the financial close for its 800MW Siraj-1 solar power project in Qatar.

The project, which is being developed by Siraj-1 Company, has secured senior loans from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Siraj Energy, which is a joint venture between Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Qatar Petroleum, owns 60% stake in Siraj-1 Company and the remaining 40% interest is held by a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and France’s Total Solar International.

To be built on a 10km2 plot in the Al Kharsaah area west of Doha, the project will be built at a total cost of QAR 1.7bn ($466m).

The first phase of the project with 350MW of capacity will be connected to the grid in the second quarter of 2021, while commercial operation of the full capacity is planned for the first quarter of 2022.

The solar project will be transferred to Kahramaa after 25 years of operation

Kahramaa said: “KAHRAMAA, through this project, has succeeded in obtaining a competitive price of the produced electricity. It had also succeeded in reducing reliance on natural gas, saving the natural gas used in traditional production, reducing emissions and enhancing the surrounding environment.

“The plant contributes in reducing around 26 million tons of emissions during the project period and will support Qatar’s commitment to host a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup.”

Kahramaa, which is the transmission and distribution system owner and operator for the electricity and water sector in Qatar, will acquire the power generated by the solar project while Siraj-1 will construct and operate.

After 25 years of operation, the project will be transferred to Kahramaa as part of the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) arrangement.

In January, Marubeni through its special purpose company founded with Siraj Energy and Total Solar International, signed a power purchase agreement with Kahramaa to supply power from the Al Kharsaah Solar plant.