Muscat: The electricity sector is one of the vital sectors that the Ministry of Energy and Minerals relies on in advancing the national economy, improving its performance and raising its efficiency.
Companies operating in the electricity sector pump large and continuous investments in the development of the infrastructure of the sector in order to maintain reliability of service and keep pace with the growth in demand for power in response to economic growth, and strive to introduce modern technology in line with best practices and emerging technologies in the world.
The advanced infrastructure project for smart meters is considered one of the main projects that aim to raise the efficiency of the electricity sector and improve the energy consumption system. Further, a project is underway to establish Barka waste-to-energy (WTE) plant, as part of the efforts to achieve the Sultanate of Oman’s commitment to zero carbon neutrality by the year 2050. This step will improve the circular economy.
Eng. Abdulaziz Said Al Shethani, Director General of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, said that the sector is working on several projects towards achieving the goals of Oman Vision 2040, in cooperation between the ministry and partners in the electricity sector.
He pointed out that linking the power grid in the north of the Sultanate of Oman with the network in the Governorate of Dhofar represents a major shift in the electricity system in the country. This will be achieved by strengthening the electricity interconnection system throughout Oman and linking the electricity networks in the rural areas and the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) with the two electricity systems in the north and south of the Sultanate of Oman. The move paves the way for connecting more renewable energy projects, particularly wind energy, he added.
He further said that the project, which is being implemented by the Oman Electricity Transmission Company, consists of two phases, as a large part of the first phase that connects the north of the Sultanate of Oman with Duqm has been completed. The most important components of the projects include the construction of high-voltage lines of 400 kV from Nahaida station to Barik station and from Barik station to Suweihat station. The completion rate of this project has reached 68 percent, and it is intended to be completed according to the plan by the end of June 2023, Al Shethani added.
He elaborated that the project also includes the construction of high-voltage lines of 400 kV from Suweihat station to Duqm station and from Duqm station to Mahout station as 58.32 percent of this project’s work plan has been completed.
He also said that work is underway to design the components of the second phase of the electrical interconnection project between the north and the south of Oman. It extends from the Wilayat of Duqm to the Governorate of Dhofar, as 25 percent of the project work plan has been completed. It is intended to be completed according to the plan by the end of 2026.
He pointed out that the project to connect Masirah Island to the main electricity transmission network with a submarine cable will be at an estimated distance of 35 kilometers as 25 percent of this project has been completed. It is intended to be completed according to the plan by the end of 2026.
In continuation of the energy transition trends and the utilization of national potentials in renewable energy sources, the Director General of Renewable Energy and Hydrogen at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals said that at the beginning of 2023, tenders for the development of Manah solar power plants project were awarded by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company with a total production capacity of 1000 megawatts.
On the other hand, Al Shethani indicated that the electricity distribution companies are implementing an advanced infrastructure project for smart meters for all subscribers in the Sultanate of Oman. The move aims to switch to automatic reading of all electricity meters and to improve the energy consumption system. He added that 31 percent of the project’s work has been completed, and it will be completed according to its plan, by the end of 2025.
He explained that Barka plant project to produce electric power from waste is the first project of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman. He added that Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, in cooperation with the Oman Environmental Services Holding (be'ah), has completed a technical and economic feasibility study for establishing an electric power generation plant using waste.