China’s largest oil company PetroChina has outlined plans for the development of a major solar energy project to provide green electricity to the Lavera refinery, near the French port city of Marseille.

PetroChina International London (PCIL) unit has signed an agreement to this end with renewable energy specialist China General Nuclear Power Corporation, Upstream has learned.

The project is still at relatively early stage of discussion, sources told Upstream, but it has already been agreed that PetroChina will provide the land space at the Lavera refinery, which is 50% owned by PetroChina through the Petroineos joint venture with Ineos Group, of the UK.

Under the agreement, CGN Europe Energy, a Paris-based renewable energy developer will perform engineering, procurement and construction services.

Petroineos operates the Grangemouth refinery in the UK, where Ineos announced investments of $1 billion in 2021, aimed reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045.

Lavera is one of the largest refining sites in southern Europe, with capacity to process 210,000 barrels per day of crude.

Petroineos trades electricity, transmission capacity and environmental products, including European Union emission allowances, renewable certificates, guarantees of origin (GoO) and well as renewable obligation certificates (ROC).

The joint venture company trades power on all major European exchanges including the UK, France and Germany.

CGN’s websites says its own investments in Europe and Africa have exceeded $3.3 billion, while its total installed capacity now reaches 2.4 gigawatts.

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