Saudi Aramco, Showa Shell Sekiyu and Solar Frontier to conduct joint feasibility study for development of a solar photovoltaic panel manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia

Study to be under the auspices of the National Industrial Cluster Development Program

Saudi Aramco will leverage the expertise and technical know-how of two Japanese partners to conduct a joint feasibility study for the development of a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia.

The two Japanese partners are Showa Shell Sekiyu and Solar Frontier. All three companies formalized the collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today. The study will be under the auspices of the National Industrial Cluster Development Program (NICDP), which is a Saudi Arabian government agency responsible for driving the development of specific key industrial areas, including solar energy products.

The MoU was signed in conjunction with HRH Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to Japan.

Saudi Aramco President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Amin H. Nasser signed on behalf of Saudi Aramco while NICDP was represented by its President, Mr. Khalid Al Salem. Signing on behalf of Showa Shell Sekiyu was its President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tsuyoshi Kameoka while Solar Frontier was represented by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Atsuhiko Hirano.

Under the MOU, the companies intend to conduct studies on:

  • Building and running world-class copper, indium and selenium (CIS) thin film PV manufacturing plant(s).
  • Building competitive business eco-systems to establish world-leading levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from PV power plants powered by locally made CIS PV modules.
  • Building a collaborative scheme to conduct joint R&D to reinforce and fast track technological developments to support the two mentioned studies.

“This initiative by Saudi Aramco and our Japanese partners will help provide stable and reliable supplies of solar PV panels in the Kingdom and contribute to Saudi Vision 2030’s aspiration of generating 9.5 GW of electricity from renewable sources,” said Nasser.