Italian oil and gas giant Eni has begun the construction of two solar PV plants in Pakistan and Tunisia of 10MW and 5MW size respectively. Both will be integrated with existing power generation facilities at separate gas and oil fields.
The Pakistan plant will be built in close proximity to the Bhit gas field at which Eni is the operator with a 40% stake, through its subsidiary Eni New Energy Pakistan. It is expected to produce around 20GWh of power annually for use on site. The project, expected to be completed by October 2019, will allow the shutdown of one of the existing gas turbines and consequently will help to cut down on operational costs. The South Asian nation is seeing its commercial and industry (C&I) solar sector steadily rising to prominence.
The Tunisia plant, which will be combined with battery energy storage systems as an off-grid, hybrid project, will be built at the ADAM oil concession, in the Tataouine governorate, at which Eni is the operator with a 25% stake, through its subsidiary Eni Tunisia BV. The solar plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and is part of a cooperation agreement with the State Company Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activités Pétrolières (ETAP).
Both projects will contribute to cutting down on gas use at the existing turbines at each location, similar to carbon-cutting moves by Eni in recent months – albeit often for powering fossil fuel activities – in Australia, Ghana, Algeria and Sardinia.