Masdar and GDF Suez are working in a consortium as one of the pre-qualified bidders for the 200MW Noor II and 100MW Noor III CSP projects in Morocco. The winning bidders are expected to be announced in September this year and in a recent interview with CSP Today, Yago Mancebo, Investment Manager at Masdar, spoke about Masdar’s first experience in the bidding process for a CSP project and their reasons for partnering with GDF Suez.
Masdar has a strong portfolio of CSP projects behind them (Gemasolar and Shams 1), whilst their partner GDF Suez are one of the biggest independent power producers in the world with a vast experience of bidding for utility scale power projects. In the interview, Mancebo highlights this complementing balance of experience as the main reason for choosing to partner with GDF Suez in Morocco.
Mancebo outlined their challenges and successes in finding the right partners for CSP projects. Mancebo said that the main challenge with forming a good partnership in CSP is simply that there are relatively few players in the industry. He went on to say that GDF starting to get into the CSP industry is a positive thing ‘because we now have at least one more company interested in this technology’.
Mancebo also spoke about the reasons behind why Masdar did not partner with some of the developers they have worked with in the past, such as SENER and ACWA Power, stating that the main reason is that ACWA Power has their own strategy for Morocco solar energy market. Mancebo said that Masdar would ‘prefer to be the leading partner in every sense’ and ‘want to be an active investor’ in the CSP projects they are involved with in the future. He went on to say that this is reason the partnership with GDF Suez works well, as ‘the consortium’s decision-making process is like a joint venture – 50-50’.