May 18 (Renewables Now) - California-based GlassPoint Solar, a venture capital startup that focuses on the use of solar energy for steam generation in heavy oil production, has gone into liquidation after taking a hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
The proceedings were announced by Oman's State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), which is a shareholder in the company with a 31% stake. It explained that the move reflects the steep fall in oil and gas prices due to the global economic fallout caused by the coronavirus.
“In view of these challenging economic circumstances and uncertainties about the short and long-term oil prices, investors have agreed to cease additional funding to the company operations,” it said.
GlassPoint Solar is backed by 12 investors, among which are Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) and international funds and companies involved in the oil industry. The firm has patented a technology that uses concentrated solar arrays to produce steam for enhanced oil recovery as a cheaper alternative to natural gas. According to the statement, some investors have already shown interest in buying the intellectual property (IP) rights to the technology.
In Oman, GlassPoint is Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) technology partner in the 1,021-MWp Miraah solar thermal project at Oman’s Amal oil field, most of which is already operational.