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Total in UAE solar power project

Published on June 09, 2010

French oil giant Total said on Wednesday that it and Spanish construction firm Abengoa will help build the most powerful solar energy generating plant in the world in the United Arab Emirates.

Total said in a statement that the Shams 1 generator will count 768 solar mirrors covering 2.5 square kilometres to produce 100 Megawatts of electricity.

The project is led by Masdar, an Abu Dhabi vehicle to promote renewable energy, with a 60-percent holding while Total and Abengoa will each hold 20 percent.

Shams 1 will be built about 120 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of Abu Dhabi, with the surrounding mirrors directing the heat of the sun onto a special boiler producing steam to in turn drive electric turbines.

No details of the cost were given in the statement but Dow Jones Newswires reported the project required investment of 600 million dollars (504.2 millioin euros).