Solenova, a joint venture between the Italian oil company Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) and Sonangol, the Angolan national oil company, will build a solar photovoltaic plant in Angola. With a capacity of 50 MWp, it will be located in the province of Namibe.
A little more is known about Solenova’s first solar photovoltaic project in southern Angola. It is a joint venture between the Italian oil company Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) and Sonangol, the national oil company. When it was launched a few months ago, ENI indicated that the joint venture would start with a solar photovoltaic project in southern Angola.
The project will be located in Namibe Province, in the southwest of the country, known more for its aridity than for its oil resource wealth, according to ENI. “The implementation of the first phase of the 25 MWp project will reduce diesel consumption by an estimated 13,500 cubic metres per year, reducing electricity production costs and greenhouse gas emissions by about 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year,” says the company. The first phase of the project will be followed by another phase that will allow the solar power plant to have a total capacity of 50 MWp.
Good news for Angola
With this new project, ENI confirms its new strategy to invest in other (less polluting) energy sources. These are mainly solar photovoltaic projects. They are carried out in countries where the company exploits oil, such as Algeria in North Africa or Ghana in West Africa.
In Angola, it already supports rural development in Namibe Province. It is a strategic investment that could enable the Italian company to win new oil concessions in the waters of the Namibe basin. To highlight its ambitions to develop renewable energy in Africa, ENI recently signed a partnership with Mainstream Renewable Power, a company based in Dublin, Ireland.
“ENI’s commitment to the development of renewable energy projects is one of the main pillars of the company’s decarbonisation strategy, which also includes reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions in all its activities”, said Luca Cosentino, Executive Vice President of the Energy Solutions Department at ENI.
The construction of a solar power plant in Namibe province will also support the Angolan government’s plan to move away from “all oil”. In September 2019, João Baptista Borges, Angola’s Minister of Energy and Water, announced a plan to install 30,000 off-grid solar photovoltaic plants to produce 600 MWp, particularly in rural areas by 2022.
Jean Marie Takouleu