By Stanley Carvalho
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Enviromena Power Systems, builder of solar power plants, sees contracts rising tenfold in 2016 as countries from Oman to Morocco push ahead with renewable energy projects, its chief executive said on Thursday.
Abu Dhabi-based Enviromena, set up in 2007 with local and international investors including venture capital firms, has built around 50 percent of all solar photovoltaic plants in the Middle East North Africa (Mena) region.
It has built 45 solar power plants with a total capacity of 70 megawatts (MW) connected to power grids, with another 105 MW of projects under construction.
Last month, it won a $128 million deal jointly with Spain's TSK Group to build a 103-MW solar plant in the south of Jordan, Enviromena's biggest contract to date.
"There's more activity than ever before. In the next 12 months we expect more contracts as we bid for projects across this region," Sami Khoreibi told Reuters on the sidelines of a green energy summit.
"There's a massive increase in solar power installations in the Mena region. This year we will see contracts 10 times more than last year," he said.
Enviromena also sees big-ticket projects coming up in the near term as the renewables market matures. The firm typically built solar projects ranging from 10 to 25 MW.
"This is changing as low oil prices and a cut in energy subsidies act as a catalyst for governments to go into bigger renewable projects," he said.
The UAE, Jordan and Morocco have taken the lead in renewables in the region, with others following.
Scaling up renewable energy in the Gulf could save 11 trillion liters of water withdrawal, save 400 million barrels of oil in the power sector and create more than 200,000 direct jobs and reduce per-capita carbon footprint by 8 percent in 2030, if plans and targets are achieved, a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Dale Hudson)