PDO plans 100 megawatt solar power project
November 28, 2017 | 5:20 PM
by Syed Haitham Hasan/[email protected]

Muscat: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is planning to float a tender for 100 megawatt (MW) solar project in multiple locations by the end of this year as the company begins its gradual transition to a fully-fledged energy company.

“We have Glasspoint Miraah where we are installing 1GW concentrated solar power (CSP) facility. We are in process of completing the installation of 19,500 PV cells in our compound, 6MW at PDO. By the end of the year, we will be tendering out 100MW installations. We are also working with OPWP to see how we can assist them in their 500MW project,” Raoul Restucci, managing director at PDO said.

Changing company name

The majority state-owned firm is also in process of changing the company name to Energy Development Oman (EDO) to provide consulting services beyond the oil and gas sector.

“We have got so much human capital, so much know how, therefore we go outside our boundaries. We presented a proposal to the board to transform PDO to EDO, Energy Development Oman.”

PDO will be issuing an invitation to tender (ITT) for up to five 20 MW solar projects in concession area mainly scattered in between Bahja and Marmul. The project aims to save gas by offsetting consumption of power produced by conventional plants with electricity by solar generated power during the day while also learning how best to support and service photovoltaic (PV) solar facilities in PDO operating environment.

The overall venture is expected to introduce an equivalent fuel saving of 70.5 million cubic metres of gas per annum ($17 million a year), reducing the company’s dependency on conventional gas turbines. It will also reduce overall CO2 emissions by around 8,550 tonnes annually. Along with the gas saving and the environmental benefits, the enterprise will be a landmark in the country as it will be the biggest solar PV initiative to date and bolster PDO’s position and operating experience in renewable energy.

PDO was working closely with OPWP as it plans its first solar IPP project tender that was earlier expected to be of capacity between 200 MW but after detailed assessment can reach 500MW.

Solar panel installation at PDO parking area can produce up to 6MWp, an initiative that can save 3.1 million cubic feet metres of gas every year. Currently, Oman has a solar installed capacity of 8MW while 10MW is currently in pipeline at various stages. Restucci said that in 2018, PDO will be looking more at creating value, implementing digitisation and technology in operations and continue with their efficiency programmes.

“It is less about solar itself but more about how we run the operations, how we understand the supply chain and how well positioned Oman is. At this stage, we have 23 digitisation projects but reality is there are another 50 or 100 more projects we can do. Whatever price of oil whether you are bullish or bearish, PDO will continue to grow because of the efficiency, system utilisation is part of the DNA.”

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