ALGERIA: Eni and Sonatrach inaugurate Solar Lab, lay first stone of PV facility in BRN

The CEO of Eni Claudio Descalzi and the CEO of Sonatrach Toufik Hakkar have inaugurated the Solar Lab and laid the first stone of a 10MW photovoltaic plant in the Bir Rebaa North (BRN) production complex, in the Berkine basin, south-eastern Algeria, today. The event took place in the presence of Eni Chairman Lucia Calvosa, as well as the Board of Directors

The Solar Lab displays different photovoltaic panels which will be tested in the extreme irradiation conditions of Southern Algeria, ensuring data collection and analysis, allowing to identify the most efficient technologies. The Solar Lab will be open to universities and other public institutions for research purposes: it has therefore a strategic value in promoting the development of renewable energy sources in Algeria, showing the commitment of the country toward the energy transition.

The photovoltaic plant will be the second one linked to the BRN facility, to further contribute to decarbonize the facility’s hydrocarbon production. Together with an existing 10MW photovoltaic facility launched in 2018, it will double the renewable energy available to power the upstream processes; it will be followed by another PV facility at the Menzel Ledjmet East Project (MLE) production complex, also in the Berkine Basin, whose construction is expected to begin in 2023. These initiatives are in line with Eni’s global net-zero strategy and are part of a wider decarbonization plan that also includes venting monitoring and zero routine flaring projects, energy efficiency and green hydrogen initiatives.

Commenting on the event, Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said “Decarbonizing our legacy businesses is a pillar of Eni’s net-zero strategy, and today we celebrate the strong alignment between Eni and Sonatrach towards carbon neutrality. Our shared vision is also the basis of the joint effort to ensure security of supply for Italy and Europe, leveraging Algerian gas resources. Algeria and Italy have been trusted partners for decades and will continue to work together towards a just, sustainable and pragmatic energy transition.

The event follows Eni’s Board of Directors meeting, held on November 16 in the historical BRN facility in the Algerian desert, to highlight the strategic importance that the country plays for Eni, and the deep historical ties and excellent relationships between Italy and Algeria.

Eni has been present in Algeria since 1981. The recent acquisition of BP assets in the country, the fast-track development of HDLE/HDLS, and the recent Berkine South start-up, will contribute towards 120,000 boed of equity production in Algeria in 2023, strengthening Eni’s role as the main international energy company operating in the country.

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