Chinese firm to start $94m solar project work in Oman by year-end

Business Sunday 17/September/2017 17:18 PM
By: Times News Service
Chinese firm to start $94m solar project work in Oman by year-end

Muscat: A Chinese firm plans to start construction work on a large solar panel project in Duqm special economic zone by the end of this year.
The $94 million-project, which will have an installed capacity to manufacture panels for power plants and residential buildings to generate around 1,000 megawatt (MW) energy per annum, is being jointly promoted by Ningxia Zhongke Jiaye New Energy and Technology Management Co. and the Oman Investment Fund.
“The project will be ready by the end of 2019,” Ali Shah, chairman of Oman Wanfang told the Times of Oman.
“The promoters of the solar panel project have already completed their feasibility study. They are now negotiating with some of the customers in the region for getting firm orders,” added Shah.
Ningxia Zhongke will have a 51 per cent stake in the solar panel venture, while the remaining 49 per cent ownership will be held by the Oman Investment Fund.
Li Li, president of Ningxia Zhongke Jiaye New Energy and Technology Management Co., had earlier said that during the first phase, the proposed venture plans to produce solar panels that can generate 400MW of energy per annum, which will be increased to 1,000MW in the second phase. Also, the company anticipates $215 million in sales revenue per annum in the first phase.
The Chinese firm, which signed a land lease agreement with Oman Wanfang in April, plans to export its products to overseas markets, where the company has a strong presence. Apart from MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, the export markets include Europe, the United States and India.
Presently, most of Ningxia’a products are sold within China, while a portion of the production is exported to Australia, Japan and South Asian countries. Ningxia panels meet all international standards, including European and U.S. standards and China accounts for 70 per cent of the global solar panel production.
The Chinese company plans to employ 300 people in the first phase, which will be scaled up to 900 to 1,000 employees in the second phase.
Apart from Ningxia, nine Chinese firms in April signed land lease agreements with Oman Wanfang—the company that manages 1,172 hectares of land for developing a major China-Oman industrial zone in Duqm—to build various projects, ranging from a methanol venture to a five-star hotel, with a total investment of $3.06 billion.
These projects, which are expected to change the face of Duqm as a major manufacturing and trans-shipment hub, range from a $2.3 billion methanol venture to a $406 million-power project and a solar panel project. Plans are also afoot to build a 230,000 barrels per day-capacity refinery as part of the second phase development.
Oman Wanfang, which is a consortium of six private Chinese firms, will develop and attract direct foreign investment from China for building a host of light, medium and heavy industries and tourism projects.
Considered as the biggest investment in Duqm, the China-Oman Industrial Park is one of the leading overseas industrial parks promoted by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce in China.