DGC’s 445MW power project to start operation in January 2018
July 25, 2017 | 5:03 PM
by A E JAMES/[email protected]
Times file picture for representational purpose only.

Muscat: A new natural gas-fired power project (Salalah II), which is owned by the Dhofar Generation Company (DGC), will start power generation from its 445 megawatt-capacity plant in January 2018.

A consortium consisting of Japan’s Mitsui & Co, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding Co had won a contract to build a $630 million power plant in Raysut in 2015.

As part of the deal, the consortium has acquired Dhofar Generating Co, which owns and operates an existing 273 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant at the adjacent site, from Electricity Holding Company (Nama Holding). This will take the total power capacity of Dhofar Generating Co to 718 MW once the new plant starts operation.

Electricity demand

Electricity demand in the Dhofar region (Dhofar Power System) is projected to grow by 7 per cent per annum for the next seven years, from an average of 348 MW in 2016 to 559 MW in 2023. However, peak demand is expected to grow at about 6 per cent per year, from 497 MW in 2016 to 765 MW in 2023, according to a seven-year outlook report released by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP).

Also, the high case scenario assumes that underlying demand will grow at a modest rate in the near-term, and begins to grow at greater rates in the medium to long term. “On average, this scenario has peak demand growth of 9 per cent per annum and energy growth of 10 per cent per year.”

Electricity demand growth in 2016 in the Dhofar region was slightly lower than the low case forecast presented in the previous seven year statement. “Average demand increased by 4 per cent to 349 MW. Peak demand was measured at 497 MW, an increase of 0.5 per cent over the 2015 peak demand.”

Presently, Salalah IWPP, owned and operated by Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water Company, generates 445 MW of power and 68,000 cubic meters of water per day for Dhofar region. It is located in the Marbat/Taqah region, and started operations in 2012.

Wind project

Also, the Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco), in partnership with Masdar of Abu Dhabi, is developing a 50 MW wind farm project, which will operate under a power purchase agreement with OPWP. “The project has been tendered, but is currently on hold and awaiting approval.”

The wind farm, where around 25 wind turbines are expected to be built, will be located near Harweel. Considering the potential intermittency of this resource, it is not currently considered as firm capacity.

It is currently considered in supply plans to reach commercial operation in 2020.

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