Sep 07, 2021

Middle East steps up renewables investments

Energy
Renewables
MiddleEast
solarpower
Dominic Ellis
4 min
As TotalEnergies signs $10 billion deal in Iraq, Arctech will provide its SkySmart II product to the Middle East’s largest solar PV plant

TotalEnergies has signed a major $10 billion deal for the sustainable development of the Iraq's Basra region.

The agreement covers reduction of gas flaring, water resource management and solar development, according to its Twitter feed.

TotalEnergies, with the support of the Iraqi authorities, will invest in installations to recover gas that is being flared on three oil fields and supply gas to 1,5 GW of power generation capacity in a first phase growing to 3GW in a second phase, and will also develop 1 GWac of solar electricity generation capacity to supply the Basra regional grid.

These agreements also include: 

  • The construction of a new gas gathering network and treatment units to supply the local power stations, with TotalEnergies also bringing its expertise to optimize the oil and gas production of the Ratawi field, by building and operating new capacities.
  • The construction of a large-scale seawater treatment unit to increase water injection capacities in southern Iraq fields without increasing water withdrawals as the country is currently facing a water-stress situation. This water injection is required to maintain pressure in several fields and as such will help optimizing the production of the natural resources in the Basra region

“These agreements signal our return through the front door to Iraq, the country where our Company was born in 1924. Our ambition is to assist Iraq in building a more sustainable future by developing access to electricity for its people through a more sustainable use of the country’s natural resources such as: reduction of gas flaring that generates air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, water resource management and development of solar energy,” said Patrick Pouyanné, TotalEnergies' Chairman and CEO.

“This project perfectly illustrates the new sustainable development model of TotalEnergies, a multi-energy Company which supports producing countries in their energy transition by combining the production of natural gas and solar energy to meet the growing demand for electricity. It also demonstrates how TotalEnergies can leverage its unique position in the Middle East, a region where the lowest-cost hydrocarbons are produced, to gain access to large-scale renewable projects."

Renewables activity is hotting up across the region. Arctech, the tracking, racking and BIPV solutions provider, has signed a 2.1GW trackers supply agreement with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for the Al Dhafra PV2 PV power plant in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Once completed, the plant will be the largest of its kind in the Middle East and supply enough electricity to power 160,000 local families, while offsetting emissions by more than 3.6 million tons of CO2 per year.

Although the project site receives abundant sunlight, its harsh natural conditions, which include high temperatures, sandstorms and a highly corrosive environment, pose harsh requirements for the reliability of tracking systems. 

Following a thorough assessment, Arctech was selected as the tracker supplier, with the project adopting the company’s flagship product, SkySmart II. A statement from the company said that the product is the first IEC-certified multi-point parallel drive tracking system, which is capable of coping with the harshest natural environments, while reducing the cost per KWh of the project significantly.

"To win the largest PV project in the Middle East, Arctech invested thousands of hours of engineer resources from offices in China, UAE, and Spain, analysed dozens of tracking system configurations, and submitted more than 30,000 pages of technical documents. 

“Fortunately, our efforts were highly recognized by CMEC and all the relevant parties, for which I'm truly grateful for their trust and support and show my appreciation to our technical, sales, and project teams for their hard work." said Guy Rong, President of Global Business at Arctech.

Arctech and CMEC also signed a framework agreement on strategic cooperation. Under the agreement, two companies will strengthen in-depth cooperation in global markets based on mutual benefits and win-win principles.

"It's now time to deliver our commitments to product quality, on-time delivery and services. We believe the project will be successfully connected to the grid on time,” added Rong. “The framework agreement signed also shows that Arctech and CMEC share extensive common interests and cooperation intentions. We will actively strive to deepen cooperation in more new energy projects and create more values by applying innovative technologies."

Last month JA Solar announced its partnership with Power n Sun (PNS), to promote distributed solar PV products in the Middle East and South Asia. The latest extension of the cooperation further strengthens the two sides in promoting the application of distributed solar PV products in local markets.

Vietnam is looking to foster investment cooperation in the Middle East across a range of sectors, including clean energy (click here).

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