The First Energy Bank of Bahrain plans to build a polysilicon plant in Saudia Arabia to serve an increasing demand for solar energy generation in the Middle East.
The bank said it's teaming up with Project Management and Development Co. in Saudi Arabia to build the factory, which would cost about $1 billion, reported the Reuters. The factory would have an annual capacity of 7,500 tons; production is set to begin in 2013.
The Islamic bank plans to finance the project with 40 percent equity and 60 percent debt. Part of that debt would come from the Saudi government.
The developers already have signed an off-take agreement with Vinmar International in the United States, a petrochemical seller in Houston.
Countries in the Middle East are eager to invest in solar and other renewable energy manufacturing and generation. They see such investments as necessary to lessen their dependence on oil consumption and production.
Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates, has invested in solar panel manufacturing and installations. Kuwait plans to solicit bids next year for a solar power plant. Saudia Arabia wants to build a 2-megawatt solar farm at its King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.