The Algerian Minister of Energy Mustapha Guitouni has announced that up to 170 MW of wind and solar power will be tendered in the near future, according to government-owned news portal Portail Algerien des Energies Renouvelables.
Two 25 MW projects will be tendered by local power utility Sonelgaz, which aims at replacing electricity generation from diesel generators in the southern part of the country, while other 100 MW to 120 MW will be auctioned for other unspecified locations. Guitouni has not specified if the upcoming tenders will include local content requirements, and if projects will have to rely on a certain quota of locally manufactured components.
The minister reminded, however, that the Algerian government adopted in April 2017 the decree for the implementation of a 4 GW solar energy tender, that has never been issued. The decree was supposed to make the auction process progress, and to launch the invitation to bid (ITB) phase.
One of the main controversial aspects of the huge tender were its rules for domestic content requirements that compels developers to construct PV component manufacturing facilities in the country. On the other hand, several doubts were raised by local renewable energy experts and entrepreneurs on the feasibility of the tender.
Meanwhile, the local solar module industry has grown ever since. In April, Algerian solar company, Zergoun Green Energy (ZEG) revealed plans to build a 180 MW PV module factory in Ouargla, in the homonymous province of southern Algeria.
When operational, the new factory will join the club of the Algerian solar panel makers, which is currently composed of French-Algerian company, Aurés Solaire, which operates a 30 MW PV panel factory in the Ain Yagout industrial area near Batna, eastern Algeria, and Algerian electronics manufacturer, Condor Electronics, which owns and operates a 130 MW module production facility in Bordj Bou Arreridj.