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The National Company for research, production, transport, processing, and marketing of hydrocarbons (Sonatrach) has planned to build a solar photovoltaic plant in the Hassi Berkine basin (Ouargla Province), Algeria. The proposed project will be launched in 2022 and supply its oil sites in the region.
The Central Director of New Resources of Sonatrach Group, Youcef Khanfar has mentioned this 10MWp solar project on the sidelines of the tenth edition of the International Energy and Hydrocarbons Exhibition (NAPEC 2021). The planning and construction work of the plant will begin soon with the help of Sonatrach’s own funds.
According to Khanfar, Sonatrach is preparing its subsidiary companies to produce solar photovoltaic power stations and Algeria has all the assets to get into this niche. “We have large spaces and solar radiation in Algeria can reach 3,000 hours per year. Also, desert sand is full of selenium, a component that goes into the composition of photovoltaic solar cells”, he commented.
The state-owned oil company of Algeria, Sonatrach is the largest oil & gas company in Africa and provides 30% of Algeria’s gross national product (GNP). Its subsidiaries employ 80,000+ people who work to consolidate its position as the leading exporter of natural gas in the Mediterranean basin. The group has already worked on a solar installation in the same region, in partnership with the Italian energy company ENI.
Sonatrach is combining its efforts to set up photovoltaic installations that correspond to the plan of the Algerian Government to initiate its energy transition roadmap based on Renewable Energy Development and Energy Efficiency Promotion.
Algeria has committed to expand the production of renewable resources and reach 15GW of electricity generation capacity by 2035, with a growth rate of 1GW per year. The country is also looking forward to installing around 1 GW of off-grid renewable energy that is to be put on stream by 2030.