Oman’s investment in electricity projects grew 27% at OMR221m in 2015
March 1, 2016 | 6:30 PM
by INACIO OLIVEIRA/[email protected]
Engineer Hamad bin Salim Al Maghderi. – JUN ESTRADA/Times of Oman

Muscat: Oman’s capital investment in electricity projects recorded a growth of 27 per cent at OMR221 million in 2015, as against OMR174 million in 2014, despite plunging crude oil prices and global economic crisis, a top official said.

The cost of capital investment in these projects includes establishment of new networks and main electrical transformer stations as well as connection of power supply to subscribers across the Sultanate, Engineer Hamad bin Salim Al Maghderi, chief executive officer of Rural Areas Electricity Company and chairman of the Distribution Code Review Panel, said at a press conference in Ghala, on Tuesday.

While stating that the annual power demand is estimated at eight per cent, Al Maghderi pointed out that the number of consumers increased to 993,880 last year, representing a growth of 6.6 per cent, compared to 932,208 consumers in the previous year.

“The electricity produced during the year 2015 reached 14 gigawatts/hour, while the electricity supplied was about 7,850 megawatts,” the CEO added.

He explained that decline in oil prices would not affect the plans of the companies in implementation of various power projects as there is a clear work programme supported by the government which is going on according to the planned schedule.

“The electricity sector projects were not affected by lower or rising oil prices, but are affected by the demand for electric power in the Sultanate and these projects are self-funded,” he said.

Listing the achievements of the Distribution Code Review Panel (DCRP) last year, Engineer Al Maghderi said that it approved 190 companies operating in the electricity, including 159 small and medium companies. “The number of Omani nationals working in the electricity sector companies registered at Distribution Code Review Panel reached more than 4,000 workers,” he added.

Engineer Al Maghderi also pointed out that DCRP approved 93 engineers specialised in protection, inspection and operation in the electrical contracting firms. The number of qualified protection engineers working with contractors reached 39 engineers, while the number of examination and operation engineers reached 54 engineers.

He stressed that the DCRP was committed in Omanisaton of electricity sector jobs and that it is adhering to the laws and regulations of nationalisation of workforce in Oman.

Forum on March 9

The chairman of Distribution Code Review Panel, an entity responsible regulating and allocating the electricity sector and related water sector in Oman, announced that it will organise its third annual forum for the companies operating in the electricity sector under the theme ‘Competent and Commitment’ on March 9, under the auspices of Engineer Omar bin Khalfan Al Wahaibi, CEO of Nama Group, and CEOs of electricity distribution companies among others.

Engineer Al Maghderi said that the forum will discuss the challenges and developments in the labour market and the mechanisms to facilitate and overcome them in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in the Sultanate.

He also said that four specialised papers will be presented at the March 9 forum, which aims at exchanging expertise and practical experiences. In addition, DCRP will present a detailed visual presentation on the functions of its divisions, the requirements for registration and accreditation mechanisms.

At the Distribution Code Review Panel forum, he said that laws and standards applied in registering companies in this sector will be introduced, in addition to tackling Omanisation ratio and the participation of small and medium enterprises in the electricity sector.

While mentioning that the recommendations of the forum in its first and second editions have had positive outcomes, the DCRP chief pointed out that training on electrical safety rules to reduce accidents associated in this sector has been implemented.

The DCRP chairman said that it conducts field visits to factories producing electrical equipment used in the networks inside the Sultanate and to international factories, to gain experience, supervise and ensure the safety of this equipment and their compliance with the Omani standard specifications.

The DCRP has its role in cooperation within the GCC region in the field of electric power, where there are many employees from DCRP acting as active members in many committees, including committees for adopting standard electric power specifications, he added.

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