PDO inaugurates solar car park

PDOPetroleum Development Oman (PDO) today (3rd January) officially opened its first solar car park at its headquarters in Muscat.

Thousands of solar panels were installed in car parks at Mina Al Fahal to provide power for PDO’s office buildings. The move will save more than 3.1 million cubic metres of gas a year, enough to provide electricity for almost 1,000 homes. It will also cut carbon dioxide emissions by 6,662 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking more than 1,400 cars off the road or planting almost 173,000 trees.

The 6 megawatt installed peak (MWp) solar project, which will generate 9,480,000 electrical units (kWh) per year, was officially inaugurated under the auspices of His Excellency Mohammed bin Salim Al Tobi, Minister of Environment and Climate Affairs. The ceremony was attended by PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci and other prominent officials.

H.E. Mohammed Al Tobi commended PDO for its environmentally conscious and forward thinking approach in finding alternative sources for energy especially at a time characterised by economic challenges. He said: “No doubt this project will contribute to protecting the environment and reducing harmful emissions and electricity consumption. It is one of the first projects in the Sultanate to utilise solar energy at this scale alongside the Miraah project in the Amal oilfield, which is the biggest in the region.

“We look forward to the completion of the other phases in Mina Al Fahal and perhaps to similar projects in the concession area as well.”

The renewable energy scheme was executed as a joint venture by Spanish company Elecnor S.A. in partnership with Omani firm Rukun Al Yaqeen (RAY) International LLC. It involved installing a total of 19,500 solar photo voltaic (PV) modules to the canopies of 2,054 parking lots and is the largest solar scheme at a single location in Oman spanning an area of 37,830m2. The solar plant requires minimum effort to operate and maintain at negligible operating costs for a projected 25 year life cycle.

PDO Managing Director Raoul Restucci said: “As well as supporting economic sustainability, we are also committed to environmental stewardship across our entire hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon portfolio.

“This project is the latest move by PDO into renewables and we believe there is a lot more potential to harness the sun’s energy across our operations and the Sultanate generally. It also provides an opportunity to develop Omani capability in solar and to build a local supply chain in this growing area.”

PDO is promoting renewable energy in the oil and gas sector while expanding its renewable energy journey in its concession area. It is already using solar energy for street lighting and water heating in its Ras Al Hamra residential development and has recently completed the first block of Miraah, the largest solar energy plant at peak capacity in the world built with partner GlassPoint Solar, at its Amal cluster in southern Oman. The Miraah project is harnessing the sun’s rays to create steam as an alternative to gas for use in thermal enhanced oil recovery and has successfully delivered steam to the Amal West oilfield. The Company is also providing technical support to government and private sector entities in Oman.

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