Signature of an agreement to develop the largest solar plant to date in Sharjah

05 OCT 2023
News Corporate

In an important step on the Emirate of Sharjah’s road to renewable energy, Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC), the oil & gas industry executive arm of the Emirate, working under the auspices of the Petroleum Council of Sharjah, and Emerge, the joint venture between Masdar and EDF Group, have concluded a Solar Power Agreement, during ADIPEC’s business conferences. 

This important step is regarded as a major landmark for SNOC towards achieving its own de-carbonization and Net-Zero target for 2032, as well as contributing to the UAE Net-Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.

According to the provisions of the signed agreements, SNOC and Emerge will develop  solar PV solutions at SNOC’s Sajaa Gas Complex which will supply power to SNOC’s operations, as well as being connected to the main power grid.  The excess solar power will be taken by SEWA, while SEWA will provide the required power for SNOC operations during the night. 

It is expected that the total power produced by the solar plant will significantly exceed SNOC’s current power demand, which will allow SNOC to convert more of its gas-powered units to electrical drives in the near future, resulting in significant reductions to SNOC’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Solar Power Project is expected to be operational by the end of 2024. 

The expected capacity of the new solar plant will be 60 MWp.  The technical and operational parameters have been developed according to international standards and in full compliance with SEWA’s regulations regarding technical security and reliability of the electrical transmission and distribution grid systems. As regards the contractual relationship, these will be on a BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) basis, for a period of 25 years. 

The solar power plant will provide renewable energy to Sharjah at a competitive cost compared to gas power plants. It provides a win/win solution for SNOC and SEWA as the excess daytime power comes during peak daylight hours, while SEWA provides power to SNOC during the night when the overall demand is lower.

H. H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, the Deputy Ruler of the emirate of Sharjah, Chairman of Sharjah Petroleum Council and President of SNOC, commented saying:

This project demonstrates the value of national professional cooperation amongst entities like SNOC, SEWA and Emerge, providing a 100% green project that supports the SNOC and Sharjah sustainability agenda and commitment to protecting the environment. We view this project as a showcase for the application of clean energy in our emirate.

SNOC CEO, Hatem Al Mosa, added:

The gas consumption of our Sajaa Plant currently accounts for the largest share of the carbon footprint associated with our own operations. This project is a significant milestone on SNOC’s path to achieve Net-Zero by 2032 on its own operations. SNOC will implement this project alongside its other planned initiatives, including carbon capture and storage (CCS), elimination of methane leaks and flaring, and optimizing operational efficiencies. It will contribute to the reduction of CO2 by approximately 66,000 tons per annum, equivalent to taking more than 14,600 cars off the road.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar CEO, said:

We are very proud to be announcing Emerge’s first project in Sharjah. The plant at SNOC builds on the success Emerge has enjoyed as an energy services company in developing several projects in Abu Dhabi since it was formed in 2021. We are confident this 60MWp solar-power project will make a significant contribution to advancing the Sharjah National Oil Corporation’s decarbonization goals.

Luc Koechlin, Chief Executive Officer Middle East, EDF Group, stated:

EDF is delighted to support this significant partnership between SNOC and Emerge. Emerge's turnkey supply solutions, providing eco-friendly options with no upfront costs, emphasize our commitment to sustainability. This project highlights the strength of partnerships in advancing SNOC's decarbonization goals while delivering environmentally responsible energy solutions".

About SNOC
Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) is the oil & gas industry executive arm of the Petroleum Council of Sharjah. Established in October, 2010, SNOC owns, manages and operates the oil and gas assets, originally under the 1978 Sharjah concession with AMOCO and later with BP. SNOC, the main gas provider to Sharjah, has four gas & condensate fields, large Gas processing complex at Sajaa that connected and delivered gas to the Northern Emirates since 1983, as well as two export terminals located at Hamriyah. Equipped with its decades of heritage and experience in the oil and gas business, gained from the previous holders of Sharjah Concessions, SNOC is pursuing active development plans to fulfil its objectives to explore, develop, produce, procure, store, market and transport hydrocarbons. In it its derive to explore and develop oil and gas fields in the emirate, SNOC has recently signed three concession agreements with Eni and PTTEP, making a gas discovery in 2020. SNOC has also initiated a new strategic gas underground storage project, as one of other several initiatives, including plans for renewables, net-zero 2032 commitment and CCS research. 

About Emerge
Emerge is a joint venture between Masdar and EDF Group established to collaborate on opportunities in distributed solar generation, and energy efficiency in the UAE and KSA. As an energy services company, Emerge offers clients full turnkey supply and demand side energy management solutions through solar power agreements and energy performance contracting at no up-front cost to the client.

About Masdar
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is the UAE’s clean energy champion and one of largest companies of its kind in the world, advancing the development and deployment of renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies to address global sustainability challenges. Established in 2006, Masdar is today active in over 40 countries, helping them to achieve their clean energy objectives and advance sustainable development. Masdar is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) , and under this ownership the company is targeting a renewable energy portfolio capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and an annual green hydrogen production capacity of up to 1 million tonnes by the same year.

About EDF
As a major player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated energy company active in all businesses: generation, transmission, distribution, energy trading, energy sales and energy services. EDF group is a world leader in low-carbon energy, having developed a diverse production mix based mainly on nuclear and renewable energy (including hydropower). It is also investing in new technologies to support energy transition. EDF’s raison d’être is to build a net zero energy future with electricity and innovative solutions and services, to help save the planet and drive well-being and economic development. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 40.3 million customers (1), of whom 30.3 million in France (2). It generated consolidated sales of €143.5 billion in 2022. 
(1) Customers are counted per delivery site. A customer can have two delivery points: one for electricity and another one for gas. (2) Including ÉS (Électricité de Strasbourg) and SEI.