Oman’s Concentrated Solar Power drive draws German interest

Oman’s plans to set up the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power plant at its Amal field has prompted interest from Solarlite CSP Technology.

Dr Joachim Kruger, managing director at Solarlite, recently visited Muscat to highlight the benefits of direct steam generation in recovering oil from fields containing heavy and viscous oil, according to the Oman Observer report.

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Occidental Oman currently use natural gas as a fuel to generate steam that is injected into such reservoirs to bring the heavy oil to the surface in a process known as steam-flooding or thermal EOR.

PDO recently announced an investment of around $600 million towards the development of a 1 GW capacity solar plant based on the award-winning technology of US firm GlassPoint.

Solarlite designs and builds solar thermal parabolic troughs for power stations and process heat industries.

“Solarlite is based on parabolic troughs that have an aperture width of 4.6 metres to 5.5 metres, which is a technical requirement if we want to do direct steam generation,” Dr Kruger said.

“Direct steam generation is a key feature that differentiates our technology with others — because we only using sun and water. There is no oil in our system. Our expertise lies in converting water into steam and creating stable high quality steam conditions which can even serve highly sophisticated turbines,” he added.

“When we embark on any project, we first assess the host country’s local potential. Then we look for local partners and fully explore the possibility of local sourcing. Consequently, in addition to substantial CO2 emission savings, our projects have a high social impact. We create 1-2 permanent jobs per megawatt of installed capacity.

“And these are not just workers cleaning mirrors, and so on, but engineers and operators. We are also talking about the potential for investments in larger scale industrial installations,” he concluded.