Riyadh, 11 September, 2023: Red Sea Global (RSG), the multi-project developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism destinations, Amaala and The Red Sea, has entered into a 25-year concession agreement with the French multinational electric utility company EDF (Électricité de France) and leading clean energy company Masdar on a multi-utilities infrastructure facility to service the Amaala destination.
Like its sister destination, The Red Sea, Amaala will be powered entirely by solar energy, saving the equivalent of nearly half a million tons of CO2 emissions every year. The new facility consists of an optimized off-grid renewable energy system, which generates energy from photovoltaic technology, and a battery energy storage solution that enables 24/7 power, plus a desalination plant and wastewater treatment plant, both powered by renewables.
“Sustainability is a cornerstone of Amaala, and our new partnership with EDF and Masdar will drive us towards achieving a zero-carbon footprint once fully operational. The project follows the template for success provided by The Red Sea, where we recently completed the build of five solar farms, procuring a destination-wide utility system that enables us to operate with no connection to the national grid,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global.
Amaala’s renewable supply system has the capacity to generate up to 410,000 MWh per annum - enough to power 10,000 households for an entire year. The system includes a 700 MWh battery storage facility, which ensures Amaala will be powered by renewables, day and night. There will also be a water desalination plant that uses reverse osmosis technology and has a capacity of 37 million liters of water per day.
The contract was procured in the model of an independent public-private partnership (PPP), covering the design, construction and operation of the systems providing utilities, accompanied by the associated networks and infrastructure.
Béatrice Buffon, Group Executive Vice-President in charge of EDF’s International Division, said: “With more than 90% of its electricity production decarbonized, the EDF group is pursuing its ambition to contribute to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Our objective is to continue to be a key player in the development of innovative, fully resilient and net-zero electrical systems. Together with Masdar, we are thrilled to take part in Red Sea Global’s Amaala project, a large scale off-grid system delivering carbon-free electricity and water 24/7. This project will set new standards of execution and operation for EDF and the Kingdom.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “For this fully integrated utility project in partnership with Red Sea Global and EDF, we have brought together a suite of innovative solutions and technologies including solar, battery storage and desalination. It is a remarkable, unique project which will help drive sustainable economic development to the beautiful tourism destination of Amaala.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a key strategic market for Masdar and as a leading renewable energy company and longstanding partner, we are committed to playing an important role in supporting the country’s Vision 2030 Strategy as it aims to meet its ambitious targets of delivering 50% of its energy needs from renewables by the end of the decade.”
The utilities concession agreement between RSG, EDF and Masdar has an initial 25-year term with the option to extend and involves the financing, engineering, development, construction, operation, maintenance and transfer of a multi-utilities infrastructure facility.
While this deal helps Amaala reach its net-zero ambitions, the destination will go beyond sustainability to have a regenerative impact on the environment, with the aim of delivering a 30% net conservation benefit to local ecosystems by 2040. This will be achieved by enhancing biologically diverse habitats including mangroves, seagrass, corals and land vegetation that help biodiversity to flourish, while contributing to carbon sequestration efforts too.
Phase One of Amaala is focused on the Triple Bay masterplan and will be ready to welcome first guests in early 2025. Once complete, the destination will be home to more than 3,900 hotel rooms across 29 hotels and 1,200 high-end resident villas, apartments and estate homes, alongside high-end retail establishments, fine dining, wellness and recreational facilities.
It also includes a vibrant community for the more than 15,000 people who will live and work at Amaala when fully complete.