GlassPoint Solar and partner Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) have used new designs and manufacturing methods to cut the cost of their 1 GW Miraah CSP enhanced oil recovery (EOR) plant by 55% compared with an earlier project, according to media reports.

Glasspoint installed a 7 MWth solar-EOR plant at PDO’s Amal West field in May 2013 and the company began constructing the giant Miraah plant on the same site in 2015. The developer consortium has reduced the material required for the mirrors by around 18% compared with the earlier project and deployed a lighter and stiffer mirror support structure which uses 30% less aluminium than earlier designs, according to documents seen by reporters.

In addition, the Miraah plant uses a new drive system for sun tracking with one-third fewer motors and the developers have deployed new tools which have reduced labor hours by around 60%, the documents said. The project is also clearly benefiting from economies of scale.

Low oil market returns and higher dependency on gas supplies have led countries such as Oman and Kuwait to develop CSP enhanced oil recovery (EOR) as a way of reducing production costs.

The Miraah solar plant is expected to produce 6,000 tons of steam every day and save as much as 5.6 trillion BTU of natural gas each year, which will be used for Oman’s industrial development, power generation and LNG exports.

In 2011, GlassPoint became the first developer to demonstrate the commercial viability of solar EOR when it installed a 300 kW project in the U.S. state of California.

New Energy Update