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Forum focuses on energy competitiveness
October 16, 2018 | 3:06 PM
by Times News Service
 
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Muscat: The first Czech-Omani Business Council in cooperation with Awtad Company organised a workshop, which focused on liberalisation and privatisation of the energy market, according to a statement by Awtad.

Jiri Slvik, Ambassador Extraordinary to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen was the guest of honour at the event.

Speaking about the current situation in the Czech republic, Dr Jiri Gavor, President of the Governmental Committee on Sustainable Energy Development, said, "Despite being a small country, our gross domestic product (GDP) is growing at a rate of 4 per cent, while our neighbouring countries are growing at 2 per cent."

In his presentation, Gavor explained that while spot (day ahead) markets are necessary as a baseline, where a service is bought for immediate consumption, derivatives in an open market need to exist in order to bring competitive advantages to the market. This way, companies can diversify their offers based on the time-scale and not just prices.



"Liberalisation of the market should be gradual and we began with a directive in 2003 with the legal unbundling of production, distribution, and trade, and all customers had a choice of suppliers by 2006," he added.

Ahmed Al Naddabi, consultant for Awtad Energy, said, "We would like to see a system in Oman where if you are unhappy with your service provider, you can change it as easily as changing your mobile company. We decided on the Czech model for this workshop because of how advanced the country is in the field of liberalising the electricity sector," he added.



Said Salim Al Mashani, Manager of Customer Affairs and currently Acting Director of Supply at Dhofar Power Company (DPC), said, "We are currently the primary supplier of power in Dhofar. It is very likely to see competition in the market in the near future, at least in terms of supplying power to customers."

"We believe that competition is healthy in not only changing the tariffs, but also pushing up the quality of service and improving customer services and experience as it's going to be a major competitive advantage to attract or retain customers," he added.

"We are also extremely interested in smart meters," he said.

Technological advances come hand in hand with market liberalisation and price reduction, according to Gavor.

"Lithium-ion battery prices keep on falling, and they decreased by 24 per cent between 2016 and 2017. At the same time, gross electricity generation from renewables increases, particularly biogas and biomass energy in our country. They are at 13 per cent of national gross consumption. This encourages competition and more companies to enter the market," he added.

Gavor said, "The Czech Republic is a big exporter of energy, perhaps the biggest in Europe, in per capita capacity, and the safety of our system is good and we have had no blackouts so far."

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