Oman EOR project ahead of schedule; EIB tenders in Namibia; Lighter steam system cuts CAPEX
Solar Thermal news you need to know.
PDO, Glasspoint start to build Oman's giant Miraah plant
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and GlassPoint Solar have broken ground on the 1 GW Miraah Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project a month ahead of schedule, the companies said in a statement November 4.
The solar thermal facility will produce steam at the Amal oilfield in South Oman, reducing the consumption of gas which is currently used for oil recovery at the site. Once fully completed, the solar thermal facility will be more than twice the capacity of the largest CSP plant currently in operation, BrightSource's 392 MW Ivanpah plant in California.
The full-scale project will comprise 36 glasshouses, built in succession and commissioned in modules of four. The first module will begin generating steam in 2017. Upon completion, the total project area will span three-square kilometres.
PDO and GlassPoint Solar estimate the Miraah plant will save 5.6 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) of natural gas each year, allowing gas to be used for power generation elsewhere in the country and displacing diesel and oil burning in future energy projects.
GlassPoint and PDO have worked together since 2010 on a successful 7 MW pilot CSP project at Amal and a proven track record of this plant has led to the full scale Miraah project.
EIB to tender for feasibility advisor for Namibia CSP plant
NamPower, Namibia's national power utility, has asked the European Investment Bank (EIB) to tender for techno-economic advisory services for a feasibility study on a new CSP with storage plant.
The tender is to be published in December, according to a market note published by EIB on October 31.
The study has an indicative budget of Eur1.1 million ($1.2 million) and is jointly financed by NamPower, Global Environment Facility and the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.
'The scope of services for the Techno-economic Advisor consists of a full and comprehensive Feasibility and Implementation Study, starting from a technology scoping report and ending with the drafts of financing documents and commercial agreements (including all intermediary and auxiliary steps, tasks and reports),' EIB said.
Proposed siting for Namibia's first CSP plant
Source: CSP Today Global Tracker
Namibia suffers from a lack of power generation close to load centres and has to manage complex grid stability challenges. Additions of intermittent supply are exacerbating these grid challenges.
In an interview with CSP Today earlier this year, Margaret Mutschler, Head of Generation Projects at NamPower, said the procurement for the CSP plant will be done on a competitive basis, whether it is for an Independent Power Producer, a Public-Private Partnership or an EPC Contractor.
Aalborg's new steam generator system reduces CAPEX by 10%
Denmark's Aalborg CSP has developed a new version of steam generator technology for molten salt plants which reduces technology capital expenditure by 10%.
The cost savings of the optimised SCG4 system are made through the use of thinner and lighter materials 'owing to an upgrade in the placement of tube bundles and pipes,' the company said in a statement November 5.
The system also saves up to Eur4 million ($4.3 million) on auxiliary equipment for the steam generation system in a 100 MW reference plant, it said.
'The most significant feature of the optimized SGS4 technology is that it allows the shell-and-tube design to have molten salt on the shell side of all components while maintaining the option to use natural circulation for optimal and stable operation,' Aalborg said.
The system lowers Operations and Maintenance costs by eliminating the use of circulation pumps, through natural circulation in the evaporator unit. This reduces electricity consumption and the risk of operational failures.
Components such as the evaporator and superheater are elevated, allowing for automatic venting and providing gravity-based molten salt draining.
'Therefore, there is less need for venting and drain valves, enabling the customers to save on supporting equipment,' Aalborg said.