Leading manufacturer of solar energy solutions, First Solar, establishes its first regional office at ENPARK, a free zone business park dedicated to the development of the UAE’s environmental and sustainable energy industries
Environment and Energy Park (ENPARK), one of TECOM Investments’ 10 business parks in Dubai, this week announced the award of its flagship trade license to First Solar, Inc. which will lead to the world’s premier provider of fully integrated solar solutions establishing a Middle East operating subsidiary within the free zone.
The announcement was made during Solar Middle East 2013 – the region’s first-ever gathering of solar technology suppliers, which is taking place at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre between February 17th and 19th. ENPARK is the event’s strategic partner and it is co-located with the Middle East Electricity Exhibition, the region’s leading energy event focused on the power and water sectors.
Founded in 1999 and listed in the United States, First Solar is a global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic solar systems which use advanced thin-film modules. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module collection and recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment.
The first phase of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, a 13MW solar PV power plant is currently under construction for DEWA. It is the first installation being built by First Solar in the MENA region at present. Additionally, the company is also supplying Masdar with half of the 10MW solar panels for the carbon-neutral Masdar City.
Commenting, Saeed Bin Ghubash, Director, ENPARK, said: “We take real pride in welcoming a major player like First Solar as one of ENPARK’s business partners. The company clearly recognises the potential of the market in Dubai and the wider region and we are thrilled to be helping provide a base for their operations.
“Diversification of the world’s power generation sources is absolutely vital. However, we need innovation to accelerate the renewable energy generation. First Solar remains at the forefront of driving innovation.” Ahmed Nada, Vice President of Business Development for the Middle East, First Solar added: “The Middle East is expected to be a major engine for the growth of solar energy in the years to come. Utility-scale photovoltaic solar systems are economical, highly efficient and reliable sources of alternative energy. Our advanced thin film technology yields superior energy output in real-world conditions in hot-climate desert areas, low-cost volume production benefits, and superior environmental performance. We are excited to be able to directly address and provide part of the solution to the growing energy demand in the Middle East region. First Solar is also honoured to have been selected for the execution of the first project at Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Solar Park”
“With its first-class technical and community infrastructure and important collaborations with other industry players, regulators and government, ENPARK is a key destination for us to further strengthen our reach in the ME market. First Solar is also in the process of establishing a second operational center in Saudi Arabia and we have decided to move the center for our regional operations for Europe, the Middle East & Africa (EMEA) to Dubai.”
Saeed also underlined that, “facilitating and fostering sustainable and globally-integrated growth in the energy and environment industry in the Middle East is the bedrock of ENPARK’s offerings that aims to play its part in developing a diversified, knowledge-based economy in the UAE.”
He added, “ENPARK strives to offer a platform and environment which helps businesses to start or expand their operations in the region. Apart from the many benefits we provide from being a free zone, we work in close partnership with Government to address the needs of the industry as a whole.”
According to World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2013, in ease of starting a business, the UAE now stands first in the Arab world and ranks 22 globally, up from its 46th position in the previous report.