The 200-megawatt thermo-solar facility is the second phase of a multi-stage solar city to be established in the region.

The Israeli solar firm HelioFocus signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday with Chinese energy giant Taiqinq to build a $340 million solar facility that will reinforce a giant coalfired power plant in Inner Mongolia.

The 200-megawatt thermo-solar facility is the second phase of a multi-stage solar city to be established in the region.

It is the direct continuation of the completion of construction of solar reinforcement plates that were installed in the region of Alasha.

HelioFocus, founded in 2007, is owned jointly by the Israeli group IC Green Energy – the green arm of the Israel Corporation – and the Chinese firm Zhejiang Sanhua.

Attending Tuesday’s signing ceremony were Israel’s ambassador to China Matan Vilnai, the governor of Alasha, and Nir Gilad, president and CEO of the Israeli Corporation.

Construction on the project is likely to start in 2015 with the simultaneous establishment of a 600-megawatt coalfired power station, which is currently in its planning stages, the companies said.

“Cooperation between companies from China and Israel and the advantages of each of the partners will create a venture with the potential for breakthroughs in environmentally friendly production of electricity,” Gilad said.

“The integration of advanced Israeli technology with the Chinese ability to execute constitutes an important basis for continued enterprise.”

This is the second joint venture between HelioFocus and Sanhua, with the original being a demonstration facility launched in Rotem Industrial Park in summer 2012.

Dr. Yom-Tov Samia, president and CEO of IC Green Energy, stressed that the new agreement represents “a significant stepping stone” toward deepening the company’s activity in Asia.

The HelioFocus thermo-solar technology relies on parabolic dishes with large optical concentrators that follow the movement of the sun and create temperatures of up to 650 degrees Celsius. The radiation is then channeled to a receiver above that heats the air, which moves to a central heat-exchange system that produces hot steam. In turn, the steam can drive a power plant turbine.

“The signing of the memorandum of understanding is a commercial badge of honor for HelioFocus’s engineers,” said Oren Gadot, CEO of HelioFocus. “It serves as an indication that HelioFocus is part of an enormous story taking place in China of late, of awareness that national energy efficiency is the way to harness the growth in energy usage stemming primarily from population growth and the continuing increase in usage for GDP.”