Dutch-based greenhouse builder Kubo Group has been selected by GlassPoint Solar to provide high-tech greenhouses for the Miraah project — one of the world’s largest solar plants being developed jointly with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) in the southern part of the sultanate, said a report.
Kubo, acclaimed for its cutting-edge greenhouse technology, will install custom-designed greenhouses covering a staggering 190-hectare desert expanse (equivalent to 160 football pitches) near Amal within PDO’s Block 6 concession, said a report in Oman Daily Observer.
Equipped with deck wash robots, as well as overpressure and filtration systems to keep moisture and dust out of the greenhouses, the structures represent an integral part of GlassPoint Solar’s award-winning technology to harness the sun’s energy to generate steam necessary to produce heavy oil from the Amal oilfield.
Construction work on the Miraah Solar Plant is well under way at a site adjoining the Amal oilfield. It follows a partnership deal forged exactly a year ago by PDO with US-based GlassPoint Solar, a leading provider of solar services for the oil and gas industry, to develop a massive solar park capable of delivering in excess of one gigawatt of solar thermal energy at peak capacity.
PDO is investing around $600 million in the project, with GlassPoint Solar providing the technology, as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) support.
Central to the success of the project is the use of large curved mirrors designed by GlassPoint Solar to concentrate sunlight and generate steam from water. The mirrors will be enclosed within the greenhouses provided by KUBO, helping protect the solar collectors from high winds, sand and dust.
The massive quantities of steam generated by the Miraah project will go a long way in offsetting the demand for valuable natural gas currently required by PDO for its Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations targeting the Amal heavy oilfield.
According to Kubo, the first consignment of greenhouses for the Miraah solar park will be shipped to the sultanate later this year. This initial batch will cover a 20 hectare area of the sprawling site.
PDO plans to bring the solar park into operation in phases, with the first greenhouse module slated for commissioning in 2017. When fully rolled out, the mammoth facility will be capable of producing 6,000 tonnes of steam for the company’s Amal EOR operations.