Qatar Building $1 Billion Solar Technology Plant
Qatar took another step towards sustainability today with an announcement that Qatar Solar Technologies will build a polysilicon production facility at a cost of US$1 billion that is set to open in 2013. The factory will be built in northeastern Qatar, on a 1.2 million square foot lot in Ras Laffan Industrial City (pictured here, click to expand). Polysilicon is one of the key materials for the manufacture of solar panels. For Qatar, the move makes sense as the world’s wealthiest country (on a per-capita basis) seeks to build a more sustainable future as the 2012 World Cup approaches. Qatar has built its economy on oil and natural gas exports, and now the country’s business and civic leaders see what’s above ground--as in the sun--as a building block instead of what the emirate has long extracted from below the earth’s surface. With plenty of raw materials from which local companies can create polysilicon, Qatar could see itself become a solar technology hub. If all goes to plan, not only should Qatar benefit, but will become a global player from emerging as a clean energy exporter, too.