1 July 2009 – Saudi Aramco and Japan-based Showa Shell have signed a letter of intent to study the feasibility of generating solar power using proprietary Showa Shell technology in a pilot project in Saudi Arabia.
The pilot project involves the transfer of technology and the exchange of expertise between the two companies, and also leverages their existing relationship, as Saudi Aramco, through an affiliate, holds an equity stake in Showa Shell.
As part of the project, young Saudi engineers will reportedly receive specialized training at Showa Shell’s solar energy plant, ensuring they gain knowledge and experience in solar energy technology.
A team drawn from both firms has started developing execution plans for the projects, and designing the related training programs.
Khalid Al-Buainain, Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president for refining, marketing and international operations, said: “We are pleased to embark on this pilot project with our friends at Showa Shell and to explore the contributions that innovative solar power technology can provide to Saudi Arabia’s expanding energy sector.
“There are promising opportunities to reduce power generation and transmission costs, particularly in the kingdom’s rural areas and for remote industrial facilities and installations.”