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World’s Largest CSP Build Managing To Progress Despite COVID-19

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The 700MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant being built for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) by a consortium between DEWA and ACWA Power called NoorEnergy 1 is progressing with construction despite COVID-19 disruption, the owner's engineer Worley has said.

Contractors from Spain, China, Belgium, Denmark and the US have rallied to minimise labour, schedule and budget disruption after bringing in measures to keep workers on-site safe and staff from home well-connected.

So that work could continue Shanghai Electric, the project's EPC with Noor Energy 1 and the construction subcontractor partners, implemented a specialist virus prevention and control procedure as well as supplying PPE to all workers. With global travel restrictions limiting staff movement and many staff unable to return following Chinese New Year, Shanghai Electric replaced them with workers local to the project.

With the ability to work remotely, design and engineering work has been largely unaffected. Located globally, Worley, the consulting firm that is providing engineering, technology and technical review support to the project, has been able to adapt its service as COVID-19 has progressed with workers staying connected through videoconferencing and regular project meetings.

Gilein Steensma, Vice President EMEA, Energy Transition, Worley said: “It's a credit to every stakeholder involved that this strategically important project has progressed minimising schedule impacts despite facing significant logistical, staffing and supply chain challenges.

“It is a real testament to the commitment of the UAE to lead on the energy transition and showcases the combination of geographical distribution and strong capabilities of the contractors and subcontractors to adapt their approach to work around COVID-19 on what was already a technically challenging build.”

The US$4.4 billion project, which will be the world's largest CSP plant, includes a 100 MW-central tower plant (CT), three 200 MW-parabolic trough (PT) plants and 250 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity.

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