Total looks to establish solar business in Qatar
May 02 2016 09:00 PM
Patrick Pouyanne
Patrick Pouyanne

By Pratap John/Chief Business Reporter

Global energy major Total is studying the prospects of establishing a solar business in Qatar, Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné has said.

Globally, Total is a front runner in solar business. It has acquired SunPower, the world’s second-largest solar energy company based in the US.

“We understand that Qatar Petroleum is establishing a new company in association with Qatar Electricity and Water Company to develop some solar farms in Qatar. We intend to study the possibility of setting up a joint venture between Sun Power and this new company. Yes, we have established a solar business in Abu Dhabi. We are pleased to do it in Qatar as well,” Pouyanné told Gulf Times here yesterday.

In December last year, Qatar Petroleum (QP) and QEWC announced establishing a joint venture for the generation of electricity from solar power.

The joint venture, which will have 40% stake by QP and the remaining 60% by QEWC, is aimed at diversifying the sources of energy production and increasing reliance on renewable sources.

SunPower designs and manufactures high-efficiency crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, roof tiles and solar panels in the US.

Already, Total is engaged in the solar business in the UAE, where it has built a plant in partnership with Masdar and Abengoa Solar.

Inaugurated in the Abu Dhabi desert in 2013, Shams is the largest concentrated solar thermal power plant in the Middle East.

On Al Khalij Field, Pouyanné said the “fact that Qatar Petroleum decided to renew its license with Total for 25 years demonstrates that QP trusts the quality of our technology and the quality of our development capacities.”

In 2014, Qatar Petroleum and Total set up a joint venture to develop the Al Khalij field over the next 25 years, according to the Total Qatar website. Under the new agreement, Qatar Petroleum and Total have a respective 60/40 interest in the field.

Located some 120 kilometers northeast of Doha, Al Khalij comprises eight platforms and 52 wells, 40 of which are oil producing. The geologically complex and challenging field began producing oil in 1997.

“Al khalij produces about 23,000barrels per day (bpd). The license has been renewed for 25 more years in 2014. So, we have time to develop Al khalij,” Pouyanné said.

Total is the founding partner of Qatargas 1 and owns an interest in Qatargas 2. It is also a leading partner in Dolphin Energy.

Total Refining & Petrochemicals has stakes in both Qapco and Qatofin. Total is a partner in the Ras Laffan refinery and also sells lubricants.

Total has undertaken various joint initiatives with Qatar Petroleum, the Qatar Foundation and Qatar University to support the development of high-quality education programmes in Qatar and provide scholarship opportunities to Qataris.

Total has also invested in a research centre in the Qatar Science & Technology Park to help Qatar develop its energy R&D capabilities and foster a knowledge-based economy.

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