LEES 2024: 500 MW Solar Plant Set to Enter Commercial Operation in 2026

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Construction of the TotalEnergies-led solar plant project is expected to commence from 2025.

The second edition of the Libya Energy & Economic Summit (LEES) 2024, which took place in Tripoli from 13-14 January, launched discussions on Libya’s untapped renewable energy potential while providing updates to ongoing projects in the sustainable energy sector. A renewable energy-focused panel session sponsored by the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya (REAOL) evaluated the development of a 500 MW solar plant in Al-Sdadda, which is currently in its authorization phase. The project is being developed by oil and gas supermajor, TotalEnergies, and is expected to enter commercial operation in 2026.

“Every oil-producing country looks at complementarities between oil and gas and renewables,” stated Pascal Bréant, Managing Director for TotalEnergies Libya, adding, “75% of the gas which is domestic is burned in power plants in Libya. By bringing renewable energy to the grid, you’re bringing value to the mix. When we connect our 500 MW to the grid, we will also power our fields.”

Set to become the largest solar photovoltaic project of its kind in the North African country, construction of the Al-Sdadda solar plant is expected to start in 2025. The project is being developed in collaboration between TotalEnergies, REAOL, and the General Electricity Company of Libya and is poised to generate approximately 152 TWh of solar energy per year.

“Libya, as a region, is a big country with high potential for solar radiation,” stated REAOL Chairman, Dr. Abdusalam Elansari, who added that Libya’s immense potential for renewables positions the country as a possible exporter of clean energy to Europe and throughout the North African region.

Meanwhile, further enhancing Libya’s renewable energy portfolio, TotalEnergies is also spearheading the development of a solar power generation system to enhance the environmental sustainability of the supermajor’s projects in the Waha concessions in Libya’s Sirte Basin.

“Another opportunity is that we have identified an opportunity in Waha for 80-to-100 MW to make it greener while reducing emissions” Bréant concluded.

The session also explored the competitiveness of Libya’s current renewable energy regulatory framework and how to further drive private investment into the sector. The speakers highlighted the critical role that multilateral finance institutions – such as Bank ABC – play in assessing the risks and addressing challenges regarding project financing.

Ghassan Atiga, Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager: Corporate Finance at Bank ABC, highlighted the bank’s dedication towards the clean energy transition and decarbonization in its global market coverage, including Libya, which is a part of the bank’s sustainability strategy. Atiga proposed to hold a focused roundtable discussion with local and regional stakeholders to explore the possibilities of getting involved in the renewable energy opportunities in an orderly fashion, considering the ongoing political transition in Libya. He noted that this is still affecting international appetite to directly finance projects in the country. Despite this, Bank ABC emphasized its commitment to the Libyan market and the energy sector, offering a range of solutions for international partners and suppliers looking to do business in the country.

Adding to these remarks, Basem Hassan, Owner of Principles Insurance Consultancy Services, stated that, “I think it’s essential now for the Renewable Energy Authority to have insurance policies for them to implement. They will be dealing with different parties, they will have partners, they will have mentors, they will have contractors who will be involved in the construction phase.”

Libya’s planned solar projects align with the government’s National Strategy for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which outlines plans to achieve 4 GW of combined solar and wind capacity by 2035.

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