Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and GlassPoint Solar have concluded work on four blocks of the Miraah solar plant, located at the Amal oilfield in the south of Oman.
With construction and commissioning of the blocks completed and steam production integrated with the Amal network, the facility is now operational and delivering steam to the Amal oilfield.
The first four blocks have a total capacity of more than 100 MW and will deliver 660t of steam per day, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.
Miraah’s construction has reportedly progressed on schedule, with 1.9 million man-hours without a lost time incident (LTI) since the project started in 2015.
Once completed, the one gigawatt installation will consist of 36 blocks built in a sequence, allowing PDO to benefit from solar steam now and gradually ramping up production over time to meet the Amal oilfield’s steam demand.
According to PDO, the project is on track to deliver an additional eight blocks in early 2019.
Speaking at the inauguration of the solar plant, Eng Salim bin Nasser al-Oufi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, said: “Today marks an important milestone for Oman as it further cements its position as the regional leader in energy convergence, uniting renewable and conventional energy industries.
“The project, which stands to be among the largest solar projects in the world, has contributed to developing local Omani talent in the renewable energy field and created job opportunities for local companies.”
Miraah is expected to generate job opportunities for Omanis, largely from future supply chain development and gas savings directed to other industries.
Raoul Restucci, managing director of PDO, commented: “Miraah provides a [...] solution that allows us to develop our heavy oil while, at the same time, reducing energy consumption and costs.”
“For PDO, Miraah represents an important step in our journey to become a full-fledged energy company, as well as placing the Sultanate firmly on the global renewable energy map with this pioneering project.”
GlassPoint’s solar system uses large mirrors to concentrate sunlight and boil oilfield water directly into steam. The steam is then used for the extraction of viscous or heavy oil, as an alternative to steam generated from natural gas.
For the Miraah project, GlassPoint brought the mirrors and other system components indoors, using a greenhouse structure to offer protection from wind and sand.
Miraah’s inauguration, held on 12 February, 2018, also marked the official opening of the Miraah Visitor Centre.