Tuesday, August 09, 2022 | Muharram 10, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Solar energy to power Sur desalination plant

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Global energy giant TotalEnergies and water solutions specialist Veolia have signed an agreement to start the construction of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) systems providing power for the Sharqiyah Desalination Plant in Sur on Oman’s east coast. The plant currently supplies drinking water to more than 600,000 inhabitants of the eastern part of the country.


The 17-megawatt peak (MWp) solar project will be the first of its kind to be installed in the region. It produces annually over 30,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green electricity, or more than a third of the desalination plant's daily consumption, enabling it to avoid close to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.


This is in line with Oman’s National Energy Strategy to convert 30 per cent of its electricity use to renewable sources by 2030. The plant will be equipped with more than 32,000 high-efficiency solar panels and will use an innovative East-West tracker system to increase energy production. It will cover an area of 130,000 square metres, equivalent to approximately 18 football pitches.


“At Veolia, we are committed to bring the ecological transformation in the water sector for our clients and for our own assets. We’re happy to launch the construction of the solar plant on our desalination unit in the city of Sur, to be able to power it with the green electricity while drastically reducing its carbon footprint," Estelle Brachlianoff, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia, said.


“As one of the key players of Oman’s water sector, Veolia is fully committed to supporting Oman’s Vision 2040 sustainability objectives for the Sultanate of Oman’s communities and industries and our solar project with TotalEnergies goes in this direction.”


“This project is in line with our strategy to develop renewable energy in the Middle East and provide our customers with clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions. We are committed to helping Veolia decarbonise its operations, building on our strong track record of deploying renewable energy solutions at highly technical and complex sites. As a global multi-energy company, our goal is to contribute to the development of renewables in Oman and its region,” said Vincent Stoquart, Senior Vice-President Renewables at TotalEnergies.


Yaqoob al Kiyumi, CEO of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company OPWP, said, “This initiative is adding another perspective to the goal of having access to clean water in Oman. Employing solar energy as another energy source for desalination operation contributes to the sustainability objectives in Oman.”


Veolia is deploying solutions to optimise the energy efficiency of its desalination activities, including its Sharqiyah Desalination Plant. The Group, in partnership with TotalEnergies, has decided to take a further steps towards green transformation by using renewable energy to power the plant instead of fossil fuels.


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