Local solar farm operator Gading Kencana Sdn Bhd is expanding into the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region with the latest collaboration with March Global LLC of Saudi Arabia to develop solar farms valued at US$1 billion (RM4.2 billion).

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the projects which was inked at the Expo 2020 Dubai, also includes development of solar farms in Asean.

Gading Kencana managing director Datuk Ir Muhamad Guntor Mansor Tobeng said the partnerships covered activities, transactions, relationships, contracts and works related to developing solar farms with a primary focus on the Mena region.

The first collaboration will be the development of a solar farm in Khulais, Saudi Arabia with a capacity of 100 megawatts, followed by the exploration of investment potential in Ghana and several countries in North Africa while in Asean, the partners aim to develop solar farms in Vietnam.

“The Mena region was chosen because it has great potential in renewable energy exploration in line with current global developments that want to reduce dependence on conventional energy sources.

“Besides that, this MoU is also a recognition to companies from Malaysia that proves that Malaysia has expertise in the field of renewable energy, especially solar, which is able to play a role globally through such cooperation,” said Muhamad Guntor

He added that the MoU would enable Malaysian companies to enter the international stage by taking advantage of developments in the global renewable energy sector with the new generating capacity reaching almost 280 gigawatts in 2020, about 45% higher than in 2019.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the performance marked the highest year-on-year increase since 1999.

“The global electricity consumption capacity from renewable energy sources is projected to increase by more than 60% between 2020 and 2026, reaching more than 4,800 gigawatts. Very high-capacity additions will be the ‘new normal’ in 2022,’’ he said.

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