DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar has signed an agreement with France's Total and Japan's Marubeni to build a solar power project with capacity of about 800 megawatts (MW), Qatar's energy minister said on Sunday.
The cost of the project is about 1.7 billion riyals ($467 million), Saad al-Kaabi, who is also chief executive of Qatar Petroleum (QP), told a news conference in Doha.
Qatar's Siraj Energy, a joint venture owned by QP and Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), will hold a 60% stake in the solar plant. The remaining 40% will be owned by both Marubeni and Total.
"Today is the commencement of the project itself and we expect by the first quarter of 2021 to have half of the (plant's) capacity up and running," Kaabi said, adding that the project will reach full capacity by the first quarter of 2022.
Kaabi said that Qatar, the world's largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), plans more solar projects as the country aims to reduce carbon emissions and minimise its impact on the environment.
In October Kaabi said that Qatar had commissioned a carbon capture and storage plant and aims to sequester 5 million tonnes of carbon from its LNG operations by 2025.
($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)
(Reporting by Dahlia Nehme; Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by David Goodman)