The 10 MW project in the Tatouine governorate was selected in the 70 MW solar tender which the Tunisian government issued in May 2017. The plant is being built by Italian oil company Eni and Tunisian oil provider ETAP.
The power line, under development by Italian transmission company Terna and Tunisian gas and electricity group STEG since 2003, was originally conceived to export power generated in Tunisia to Italy but is now based on an electricity exchange in the opposite direction.
The Italian energy company has started construction of a 10 MW solar plant at its Bhit gas field in Pakistan and a 5 MW facility at the ADAM oil concession in Tunisia. It has also begun work on a 30 MW solar plant at its industrial site in Sassari, Italy.
The region’s climate, developing economies and demographic growth are driving increased electricity demand in the Middle East and North Africa. However, as a hub of conventional energy supply, the region has been slow to embrace PV. To capture more of the value chain and deliver the full potential of solar, there are increasing calls for distributed generation deployment to play a bigger role.
Up to 16 developers have prequalified in Tunisia’s tender for five PV projects totaling 500 MW, from a total of 38 participants. Unlike previous tenders, this one has attracted key international players including Enel, Engie, EDF, Fotowatio, TBEA and Canadian Solar.
The country’s second 70 MW procurement – for solar projects up to 10 MW in size – was launched in May. The Tunisian government had already extended the deadline for the tender in August.
The solar park is set to be built across three phases, and will be located in Tunisia’s southernmost region of Remana, in the Sahara Desert. The project was conceived by the Tunisian Goverment to support organic farming and improve security at the border with Libya.
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