Eni began construction of two new solar photovoltaic projects in Pakistan and Tunisia, with peak capacities of 10 and 5 megawatts, respectively, the Italian energy giant announced Tuesday.
The plants will be located near oil and gas fields, allowing energy produced at the plants to be used on site, thereby reducing gas consumption and carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
According to Eni's statement, the 10 MW plant in Pakistan will be built in close proximity to the Bhit gas field of which Eni is the operator with a 40 percent stake through its subsidiary Eni New Energy Pakistan.
The Bhit project is expected to produce approximately 20 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually. "The output energy will be used on site, reducing gas consumption and avoiding around 140,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in the next 10 years," Eni said.
The project, which is expected to be completed by October 2019, aims to integrate the new photovoltaic project with the existing power generating facility. "Once operational, it will allow the shutdown of one the existing gas turbines and consequently to cut down on operational costs," the statement added.
The 5 MW Tunisia plant, on the other hand, will be built at the ADAM oil concession in the Tataouine governorate. Eni, through its subsidiary Eni Tunisia BV, is the operator of the concession with a 25 percent stake.
The energy produced will be used on site, reducing gas consumption and avoiding around 6,500 tonnes/year of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, according to the statement.
The completion of the solar plant is expected by the end of 2019, and is part of a cooperation agreement with the state-run Entreprise Tunisienne d'Activites Petrolieres (ETAP) active in the advancement of renewable energy projects in Tunisia, Eni added.
"The project aims to establish a cutting-edge hybrid electricity production system with battery storage devices, in order to enable efficient integration with the existing turbines," it said, adding both projects would support upstream operations by providing off-grid green energy.
According to the press release, the projects are among the first and most relevant of their kind globally, and in both cases aim to create value with the gas saved in the process.
By Hale Turkes