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Khalifa opens solar power plant
By Imran Mojib/WAM March 18, 2013
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ABU DHABI: President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday inaugurated Shams 1, the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, making UAE the first Opec nation to produce clean energy.

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan were also present on the historic occasion.

Located 120 km southwest of Abu Dhabi in the Western Region of the emirate, the 100-megawatt, grid connected power plant will generate clean energy to power 20,000 homes in the UAE.

On the sidelines of the event, a number of members of the new Cabinet were sworn in by the President.

Sheikh Khalifa expressed his pride in the inauguration of Shams 1, calling it a major achievement in the UAE’s goal of energy and economic diversification.

“Expanding our leadership into renewable sources of power demonstrates the United Arab Emirates’ commitment to maintaining its position as a major provider of energy. The inauguration of Shams 1 is a major milestone in our country’s economic diversification and a step toward long-term energy security,” he said.

“We are proud of the young Emiratis that worked on this project. The expertise they gained, working closely with international companies and building a project of such scale, is the type of human capital development that will enable our country to secure long-term energy leadership.

“Shams1 is a strategic investment in our country’s economic, social and environmental prosperity.

“The domestic production of renewable energy extends the life of our country’s valuable hydrocarbon resources and supports the growth of a promising new industry,” he added.

The ministers who sworn in were Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, Dr Abdullah Bin Mohammed Balhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works, Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Abdullah Bin Mohammed Ghobash, Minister of State.

Sheikh Khalifa urged the ministers to work diligently and sincerely to achieve sustainable development.

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