Wood has completed work on Shell’s first solar PV plant located at the Shell Nederland Chemie Moerdijk Chemical Facility near Breda in the Netherlands.

The 27MW Moerdijk plant is one of the largest solar facilities in the country. It will generate power for the onsite chemical facility, which manufactures base chemicals from the petroleum fractions naphtha, hydrowax, gasoil and LPG.

Wood acted as owner’s engineer throughout the pre-construction and construction phases of the project.

“This project is a great example of one of the steps Shell is taking to play an active role in the energy transition,” said Bob MacDonald, chief executive of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions.

Shell as part of its drive into renewable energies has pledged to spend $1-2bn a year on ‘new energies,’ among them solar, offshore wind, and energy storage.

“Across its portfolio of refineries and chemicals plants, Shell is taking active steps to improve utilisation, energy efficiency and reduce the carbon intensity of their operations,” MacDonald said.

“Other examples of Shell’s work in the Netherlands on the energy transition include offshore wind in the North Sea, electric mobility at its retail sites and residual heat from Shell Pernis.”

Not everyone is convinced the entry of oil majors into renewables makes much sense.

A senior financial analyst at Macquarie told journalists in London ‘Big Oil’ has a bad track record of diversification and the wrong skill sets in their management teams, which makes oil firms poor candidates to lead the transition to a clean-energy future.