OMR154mn solar plan to power for 33,000 homes in this area of Oman
March 17, 2019 | 11:00 PM
by Times News Service
500 megawatt solar power plant to be built in Ibri. Photo - shutterstock

Muscat: ATimes News Service

Muscat: Oman’s vision of diversifying its energy resources has received a boost with the news of a new 500 megawatt solar power plant to be built in the Wilayat of Ibri, powering 33,000 homes.

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company has announced that the plant will be built at a cost of $400 million (about OMR154 million), and the commercial operation of the project will start in 2021. It will be fully implemented by the private sector and aims to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by about 340,000 tonnes per year

Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, said that sustainability is at the forefront as Oman embarks on the deployment of renewable energy projects and that many initiatives in the pipeline will yield benefits for current and future generations.

Following a competitive tender process and a stringent examination of financial, technical and legal aspects of the proposals, the conditionally winning consortium, comprising Saudi-based Acwa Power, Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation and Kuwait-based Alternative Energy Projects Co, was selected by OPWP.

Yaqoob bin Saif Al Kiyumi, CEO of OPWP, said that the globally competitive nature of bid proposals received by OPWP for this tender indicated strong interest from global and regional developers in the future of the renewable power sector in Oman.

The project will be located at Ibri, which is around 300 km west of Muscat. With a peak generation capacity of 500 MW, the plant output will be enough to supply an estimated 33,000 homes with electricity and will offset 340,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The estimated project cost is over USD400 million and the project will be built, owned and operated by the winning consortium. Oman Electricity Transmission Company will conduct the energy produced from the project through the Main Integrated System transmission network.

Commercially operational by June 2021, Al Kiyumi added that this project presents strong opportunities to enhance local knowledge on solar project technologies and the specifics of implementing and managing such projects.

Following the Ibri II Solar Project, OPWP has already embarked on the next renewable project anticipated to be located at Manah in the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah, with a capacity between 500MW and 1,000 MW and in operation by June 2022. The Request for Qualification for the project is expected to be released around the middle of this year and request for proposals before the year end.

In other good news for renewable energy in the Sultanate, the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (Diam) has completed a wind Atlas and OPWP is in the process of conducting a detailed wind resource assessment (WRA) to collect bankable data for future wind power projects.

The WRA will use satellite data to cover several locations from A’Sharqiyah to Duqm and Dhofar where wind resource is considered high. After the successful development of the Dhofar Wind Project (50MW), the Wind 2023 project will be the first mega wind project in Oman with an anticipated project cost of USD 1 billion, and realising an anticipated capacity of around 300MW.

Oman may also have its first Waste to Energy Independent Power Plant by 2023, following a feasibility study by OPWP in coordination with Authority of Electricity Regulation (AER) and Oman Environmental Holding Services (Be’ah). This IPP, to be located in the Governorate of South Al Batinah, will include integration of waste treatment and electricity generation facilities with expected waste treatment capacity of 1.4 million tons per annum and anticipated electricity generation capacity of 125 – 160 MW.

-With inputs from ONA

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