Oman and Singapore subsidiaries of international PV system provider, Phoenix solar are extending the supposed largest ground mounted system in Saudi Arabia, to 5.3MW.

The project called KAPSARCH II, will add 1.8MW to the current 3.5MW plant, which was also built by Phoenix and completed last January.

Phoenix Solar Oman and Phoenix Solar Singapore, together with local project partner Hi-Technology and Contracting (Hi-Tech), will be jointly responsible for the design, procurement, construction and commissioning.

The project is contracted by Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s largest oil producers. The extension will be added to the existing plant at the King Abdullah Petroleum studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

The KAPSARC is an energy and environmental research institute currently under-construction and predicted to become an iconic landmark. The 1.8MW extension is part of KAPSARC’s objective to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification.

When completed the project will span 2.6 hectares of desert land, and generate approximately 2,900MWh a year for KAPSARC's grid.

The extension hopes to be operating by early 2014 and will maintain the claim that the plant is the largest in the Kingdom.

Phoenix is planning to continue to strengthen its Middle East operations: “The Middle East is a fast growing region, with potentially high demand for solar energy in the future” said Bernd Köhler, CEO of Phoenix Solar AG.

Update: Canadian Solar has been awarded a contract to supply 1.78MW of its modules for the Aramco project, as part of the expansion.

The modules have undergone international tests and gained certificates for desert climate suitability.

“We believe that this flagship project will also be a determining factor to select and qualify technology partners with bankable solar power solutions and proven track record to ensure the successful execution of Saudi Arabia's ambitious 16GW solar PV energy development program,” said Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, referring to the Saudi Arabian government body, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy’s goal for 16GW of PV.